Report: NY Prosecutors Scrutinize Trump Org.'s Property Valuations (Getty)
By Brian Freeman | Monday, 22 November 2021 02:28 PM
New York prosecutors are investigating The Trump Organization's massive disparities in property valuations, according to public records and people familiar with their probes, The Washington Post reported on Monday.
New York Attorney General Letitia James is contemplating filing a lawsuit, and prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office have already convened a grand jury to determine if there are criminal charges, the report added.
The most glaring example of the scheme, according to Washington Post, was a Manhattan office building owned by the Trump Organization that the company said was worth $527 million when the corporation was listing its assets for potential lenders in 2012.
However, only a few months later, the Trump Organization informed property tax officials that the 70-story building was only worth $16.7 million, less than one-thirtieth the amount it had just claimed, according to newly released city records.
The Manhattan building was only the most blatant example, according to The Washington Post. Other properties under scrutiny for the same reason include Trump’s golf club in California, which the company said was worth $900,000 and at the same time $25 million in different situations, as well as the former president's estate in suburban New York that was valued between $56 million and $291 million, depending on the circumstances.
As part of the investigation, New York prosecutors have asked for thousands of pages of records from city officials where former President Donald Trump’s business owns property, according to the report.
In July, the Trump Organization and its Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg were charged in a New York court in a 14-count indictment of various tax offenses, including a scheme to defraud, conspiracy, grand larceny and falsifying of business records.
In September, Weisselberg’s lawyer told the judge that Manhattan prosecutors may not have completed their charges of people and entities connected with the former president’s company, according to Law & Crime.
"We have strong reason to believe there could be more indictments coming," the lawyer said during a court hearing to determine scheduling for the trial in explaining about the difficulties in preparing his client’s case.
Trump has characterized all the charges in these various cases as being politically motivated.