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US Attorney General sues Donald Trump, his 3 children for decade-long fraud to cheat banks, insurers

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Former US President Donald Trump was sued on Wednesday by New York”s Attorney General Letitia James. AP.

New Delhi: Former US President and business tycoon Donald Trump and three of his adult children were sued on Wednesday by New York state’s attorney general Letitia James, who accused them of massive fraud by overvaluing the family’s businesses, assets and net worth by lying to top banks and insurers.

The lawsuit, which was filed in a New York state court in Manhattan, accused the Trump Organization of cheating and fraud in their annual financial statements over a decade from 2011 to 2021. The Trump Organization — their family firm that looks after hotels, golf courses and other properties globally — was named as defendant.

The former US President’s grown-up children– his daughter Ivanka Trump and sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are also under the scanner and have been named in the legal case.

Attorney General James, a Democrat herself, said that her office had found more than 200 instances of false asset valuations, and the complaint also mentioned 23 assets that she called “grossly and fraudulently inflated.”

Among the major punishments that the US Attorney General’s office is looking at for the Trump family is a permanent ban from carrying out any business in New York, which happens to be Trump’s hometown. The top legal official is also seeking a permanent ban on his three children, named in the suit, from running any corporation or firm based in New York.

She is also seeking to bar Trump and the Trump Organization from entering into any commercial real estate deal in New York city for the next five years.

In a media briefing called by the US Attorney General’s office, James said, “Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and to cheat the system, thereby cheating all of us.” She also pointed out that the former President’s Trump Tower penthouse had been valued at three times its actual size and hiked the value of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida to USD 739 million by falsely claiming it was an unrestricted property that could be developed, when it was actually private.

In a separate development, the Trump Organization has also been charged with criminal tax fraud by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and is preparing for a trial to be held next month on 24 October. The conglomerate’s former chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg — also named as a defendant in James’ suit — has already pleaded guilty. He is expected to testify against the company at the trial next month.

Leaving a door ajar for Donald Trump to reduce punishments he is likely to attract for the fraud, James also mentioned at the media briefing that though her office had rejected offers of settlements by the defendants, their “doors were always open” for any future negotiations with the Trump family.

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