New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a sweeping lawsuit Wednesday against former President Donald Trump, his three eldest children and the Trump Organization in connection with her years-long civil investigation into the company’s business practices.
In their 220-page suit, James’ office details efforts by the former president to inflate his personal net worth to attract favorable loan agreements. For Trump’s alleged wrongdoing, James seeks to bar the Trump family from being in the office of any New York-based company for five years. Additionally, the New York attorney general seeks to bar them from lending from any New York registered financial institution for five years.
James’ office seeks approximately $250 million in penalties. The suit alleges more than 200 instances of fraud over 10 years.
James alleges years of large-scale fraud, saying the Trump Organization inflated the values of its properties in seeking bank loans or deflated them to pay lower taxes. Her office has said in court filings that it “uncovered substantial evidence establishing numerous misrepresentations” in the company’s financial statements to banks, insurers and the IRS.
James’ announcement follows months of efforts by the former president and his children, Don Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump, to avoid testifying and turning over business documents. Trump sued the New York attorney general in federal court in December, seeking a halt to her civil probe and casting the investigation as politically motivated. But U.S. District Judge Brenda K. Sannes dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that while Trump and his company pointed to several comments that they argue show James’ “personal animus toward Mr. Trump and evince an intent to retaliate for or stifle plaintiffs’ free speech,” they did not show her effort to enforce subpoenas against the company “was commenced for the purpose of retaliation.”
Trump also sought to impede the probe in New York, but in February, a state judge ordered the former president and his two eldest children to sit for depositions and produce the documents subpoenaed by James.