Former U.S. President Donald Trump throws hats as he attends a rally in Warren, Michigan, October 1, 2022.
Dieu-nalio Chery | Reutersm
Former President Donald Trump and other defendants reject New York Attorney General Letitia James’ request for an independent observer to oversee the submission of Trump Organization financial statements to third parties in a bomb fraud lawsuit, a new court filing says.
James has asked a judge to appoint a minder to review the financial information the company and defendants provide to lenders, insurers and accountants pending the outcome of the litigation.
The attorney general’s office requested the watchdog as part of a sweeping lawsuit in September accusing Trump, three of his adult children, their company and others of decades of financial statement fraud.
In their Wednesday court filing, Trump’s attorneys said James’ idea of an outside observer for the company was “a politically motivated attempt to nationalize a highly successful private company.” The attorneys argued that the motion “is barred under our Constitution and therefore must and should be denied.”
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James’ lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court alleges that Trump and the Trump Organization repeatedly misstated the value of various real estate investments and his net worth in financial statements used to obtain credit, insurance policies and tax benefits.
She claims Trump overstated his fortune by billions of dollars and has asked federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the IRS to investigate Trump for possible federal crimes. She said evidence obtained from Trump during her three-year civil investigation pointed to possible crimes of bank fraud and making false statements to financial institutions.
James’ lawsuit seeks approximately $250 million in penalties.
Wednesday’s Trump defense filing flatly dismisses her allegations of fraud.
“Even the partial and selected transcripts and documents do not show that the Trump parties have ever defaulted on a loan payment, let alone engaged in any actual fraud, in the past decade,” the filing reads.
Trump’s attorneys accuse James of “creating a letter of complaint based on nothing more than a misapplication of standard accounting principles and a gross exaggeration of routine valuation differences between counterparties to complex commercial lending transactions,” the filing says.
The filing said the Monitor she requested would have “amazingly sweeping” powers, given that the person would have access to “all of the Trump parties’ financial records,” forcing the Trump parties to disclose incriminating information to the Monitor and to grant the Monitor operational oversight of the financial affairs of private companies.”
James’ motion “would effectively allow NYAG to nationalize the Trump business empire,” the attorneys claimed.