A New York lawsuit accuses former President Donald Trump of massive fraud, and may bar him from doing business in the state.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday in the Supreme Court of the State of New York is an immense dossier of three years of civil investigation in Donald Trump, his organizations, and his family. In 222 pages, it accuses him of dozens of cases of fraud, illegal conduct, and other criminal violations.
“This investigation revealed that Donald Trump engaged in years of illegal conduct to inflate his net worth, to deceive banks and the people of the great state of New York,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James.
“Claiming you have money that you do not have does not amount to the art of the deal. It’s the art of the steal,” she said, in reference to the title of Trump’s 1987 memoir, “The Art of the Deal.”
The lawsuit includes proof that Trump was prone to inflating the value and size of everything he owned. Not just in bragging to his friends, but in documenting it as collateral for investments and loans. His Trump Tower apartment, for instance, he once attested was three times its actual size and valued at $327 million, more than any apartment has sold for in the history of New York City. He also valued Mar-a-Lago at over 10 times what appraisers valued it, and claimed it could be used for services prohibited in its deed terms.
In the lawsuit, James asks the court to ban Donald Trump and his three eldest children, also named as defendants, from ever holding a business license of any sort in New York state again, along with punitive fines of $250 million. That amount is how much her investigation estimates the Trump family benefited in New York alone from the alleged fraud.
There is a parallel criminal investigation being waged into many of the same allegations. Former President Trump calls the entire affair a “witch hunt,” along with the FBI investigation into his alleged theft and handling of classified files.
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