New York – The New York Attorney General’s office said Tuesday that it is conducting a criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump’s business empire, expanding what was previously a civil investigation.
“We have informed the Trump Organization that the investigation into the company is no longer purely civil,” said Fabian Levy, a spokesman for Attorney General Letitia James, in a statement.
“We are currently working with Manhattan DA to actively investigate the Trump organization from a criminal standpoint,” Levy said.
James’s investigators are working with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which has been conducting criminal investigations into Trump and his company, the Trump organization, for two years. Both James and District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. are Democrats.
James’s office did not provide an explanation as to why he prompted a change in his approach to the investigation or why he chose to publish it publicly.
Levy declined further comments. A Vence spokesman declined to comment. A message asking for comment was left to Trump’s lawyer, the former president and a spokesman for his company.
The disclosure of James’s extended investigation does not necessarily indicate that she plans to file a criminal accusation. In New York, if that happens, the state attorney may do so through a county district attorney like Vence, or with a referral from Governor Andrew Cuomo or a state agency.
James’s civil investigation and Vence’s criminal investigation overlapped in several areas, including investigating whether Trump or his business manipulated the value of assets.
Vance’s investigation claimed millions of dollars in consulting fees paid by the Trump organization, including the payment of hash money paid to women on behalf of Trump and the money paid to Trump’s daughter Ivanka. A tax deduction validity survey was also included.
Vance’s office has not released the investigation, citing the grand jury’s secret rules, but some details were revealed during the court battle to access Trump’s tax records, which was finally obtained in February. It became clear.
As part of a civic investigation, James’ office reported on Trump’s real estate in northern Manhattan, Seven Springs, and a record of tax incentives Trump received by placing land in a conservation trust in November 2019. A subpoena was issued to the local government.
James was also considering similar issues related to Trump’s office building in New York City, a hotel in Chicago, and a golf course near Los Angeles. Her office also won a series of court decisions that forced Trump’s company and the law firm it hired to hand over a pile of records.
Vence’s research also appears to have focused on Allen Weisselberg, longtime Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, for the past few weeks.
His former daughter-in-law, Jen Weisselberg, provided investigators with a large amount of documentation in investigating how Trump employees were compensated for apartment and school tuition.
Weisselberg was summoned in a James civil investigation and testified twice in 2020. His lawyer did not immediately reply to the email on Tuesday night.
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New York Attorney General says Trump’s investigation is now a criminal
Source link New York Attorney General says Trump’s investigation is now a criminal