New York Attorney General Letitia James accused former President Donald Trump of forming a new company called “Trump Organization II” in a possible bid to dodge accountability in a lawsuit she brought against him, his company and his family.
James last month filed a lawsuitTrump, his three adult children, and the Trump Organization are accused of being involved in a decade-long fraud scheme. The lawsuit claims that there were more than 200 instances where fraud was committed to obtain favorable loan terms or reduce tax liabilities. It seeks $250 million in damages and a ban on Trump’s adult children from running any state-owned company.
James in a court filing on Thursday revealed that the Trump Organization registered a new company called “Trump Organization II LLC” in Delaware on the same day that she filed the lawsuit.
“Beyond just the continuation of its prior fraud, the Trump Organization now appears to be taking steps to restructure its business to avoid existing responsibilities under New York law,” the filing said.
The filing said that Trump’s lawyers initially “offered no assurances” that assets would not be transferred to the new company to avoid potential liability in New York. Ahead of the filing, the AG’s office said, “counsel did offer to provide assurances and advance notice to address what were described as ‘purported concerns,’ but again offered no concrete mechanism to either effectuate or enforce that offer.”
James requested that the court prohibit the Trump Organization’s transfer of assets and appoint an independent monitor to ensure compliance. The filing also asks that the special monitor review “any new financial disclosures made to banks and insurers to ensure they are not fraudulent,” James said on Twitter.
The filing requested to serve notice to Trump and his son Eric Trump electronically because “both defendants and their counsels have refused to accept service of the complaints for almost a month.”
“Since we filed this sweeping lawsuit last month, Donald Trump and the Trump Organization have continued those same fraudulent practices and taken measures to evade responsibility,” James said in a news release. “Today, we are seeking an immediate stop to these actions because Mr. Trump should not get to play by different rules.”
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and accused James of political motives and “racism.” Trump attorney Alina Habba on Thursday called James’ filing “simply another stunt.”
“We have repeatedly provided assurance, in writing, that the Trump Organization has no intention of doing anything improper,” Habba said in a statement to CNN.
Habba claimed that the filing was a “thinly-veiled attempt” to keep the case before state Justice Arthur Engoron, who has overseen matters related to James’ probe and previously fined Trump$110,000 for refusing a deposition. Habba requested that the case be supervised by another judge.
In her lawsuit, James alleged that Trump lied to insurance companies and lending firms by exaggerating the value his assets by billions, while also inflating their value to reduce his tax liability. James stated that she referred James’ findings to federal prosecutors as well as the IRS for review in regard to possible federal crimes.
Thursday’s filing said that James’ three-year investigation has amassed enough evidence to succeed in the lawsuit.
“The evidence of the Trump Organization’s fraud in deriving and presenting the asset valuations reflected in the Statements over the course of a decade-plus,” the filing said, “is overwhelming.”