February 2, 2023

NY attorney general’s office says it’s nearly done unraveling Trump’s ‘Russian nesting doll’

4 min read

New York

New York State Lawyers Office of the Attorney General He said he had almost completed his civil investigation into the Trump organization, after taking steps to unlock the assets of the real estate company, which he described as “Russian nest dolls.”

They are still searching for two cell phones belonging to former President Donald Trump and the laptop and desktop of his longtime executive assistant Rona Graf, but investigators told a judge this week that they were moving fast.

“The process is nearing completion,” Kevin Wallace, a senior enforcement lawyer in the New York State Attorney General’s Office, said Monday.

A search of the Trump organization’s files by a third-party firm identified 151 trustees, or individuals or entities, who may have the documents requested from the attorney general’s office, but Wallace said he had “information Focusing on the most important residual pieces “because the time is running out to file a lawsuit.

The boundary law for the various laws under consideration goes back many years, but the tooling agreement with the Trump organization that stopped the clock expires on Saturday. Even though the agreement has expired, it may take several weeks for the Attorney General’s Office to decide on the next stage of the investigation.

The remarks came during a court hearing Monday, when New York State Judge Arthur Anguron declared Trump a civil contempt. He was fined 10,000 10,000 a day. Failure to comply with submissions for documents relating to the New York investigation into the Trump organization’s finances.

Lawyers for the New York State Attorney General’s Office provided a glimpse of their investigation, which spans three years, when the judge asked them why it was taking so long and where it was going.

“Given the impending termination of the tooling agreement, we will need to take some sort of enforcement action to protect our rights in the near future,” Wallace said. He noted that the attorney general’s office had agreed to meet with the Trump organization’s attorney before filing and “allow them to make their case” and discussed how any “appropriate resolutions” could be made. ”

Wallace noted that in addition to the tooling agreement expiring, the evidence could be stale and memories could be lost. “The advice is to move forward as soon as possible.”

The civil investigation has been completed. Hanging on to Trump for many years.. His focus is on an investigation that threatens his family’s business, with Attorney General Laetitia James calling him a “racist” and accusing him of pursuing him for political gain.

The attorney general’s office has already said in a court filing that it believes Trump’s financial statements contained misleading statements and omissions that were provided to creditors and insurers and used for tax benefits. Trump has called the investigation a victim of witchcraft, and he and the company have denied any wrongdoing.

The judge had earlier ordered Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump to sit down for statements. Trump has appealed, and it is unclear when that decision will be made. Eric Trump was ousted in 2020 and has more than 500 times asserted himself in favor of his Fifth Amendment against crime. Last month, at the request of the attorney general, the judge ordered the Trump organization to comply with the order by Friday.

Wallace said that because the Trump organization is not cooperating with the investigation, the office used a “non-guided tour” in February 2019, using financial statements provided to Congress by former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen. Started , Was a company that did not have the processes and controls typically found in regulated industries, such as banking. Trump’s real estate business – large in terms of golf courses, condos, hotels and office space – is run as a small family operation.

“The company relies more on its people than on its systems,” Wallace said.

The attorney general’s office filed the first of six subpoenas with the Trump organization in December 2019, Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, said in a hearing Monday. He said that to date, millions of pages of documents have been changed and 13 employees of the Trump organization have been interviewed. They include Alan Wesselberg, who served as chief financial officer for decades. Alan Garten, General Counsel of the Trump Organization; And Jeffrey McConnell, controller. According to the court filing, McConnie’s deputy and other employees in finance.

An example of the complexity of the business is Trump’s golf course in Jupiter, Florida. Wallace said he was trying to understand whether Trump’s financial statements “presented it fairly.”

He said the golf club, which was bought in 2012 for 5 million, was bundled in a بیان 2 billion bucket of club assets in a financial statement. There were no footnotes detailing what was included in the bundle. Auxiliary documents indicate that Trump estimated the cost of the course at $ 46 million. Investigators then searched to determine where the قیمت 41 million surplus came from, which he said motivated them to pursue additional investigations.

“These issues are repeated in clubs,” Wallace said. “Each of these assets is like a Russian nest doll.”

“There was more than one layer and more than one person because that’s how real estate companies work,” Habba said.

He said the financial statements at the center of the attorney general’s investigation were an unaudited compilation by a family-owned company.

“These are state-of-the-art banks and companies,” he said. “No one was giving us money without checking.”

“Honestly, I’d like to go into the details of my client’s assets, some of which are of very low value, but I don’t think we are at this stage right now,” Habba argued.

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