N.Y. state attorney general sues Trump and 3 children for fraud

At a press conference on Wednesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced the state was suing former President Donald Trump as well as three of his children — Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Eric Trump — for business fraud.

Video transcript

LETITIA JAMES: Following a comprehensive, three-year investigation by my office, including witnesses, interviews with more than 65 witnesses, and review of millions of documents that were submitted by Mr. Trump and others, I am announcing that today we are filing a lawsuit against Donald Trump for violating the law as part of his efforts to generate profits for himself, his family, and his company. The complaint demonstrates that 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.

He did this with the help of the other defendants, his children, Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump, and former Trump organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, and Trump organization controller Jeffrey McConney. Mr Trump and the Trump Organization repeatedly and persistently manipulated the value of assets to induce banks to lend money to the Trump organization on more favorable terms than would otherwise have been available to the company, to pay lower taxes, to satisfy continuing loan agreements, and to induce insurance companies to provide insurance coverage for higher limits and at lower premiums.

This conduct was all in violation of executive law section 6312, which gives the attorney general broad and special powers to go after persistent and repeated fraud and illegality. As part of demonstrating illegality under that section of law 6312, we show that they violated several state criminal laws, including falsifying business records, issuing false financial statements, insurance fraud, and engaging in a conspiracy to commit each of these state law violations.

We believe the conduct alleged in this action also violates federal criminal law, including issuing false statements to financial institutions and bank fraud. And we are referring those criminal violations that we've uncovered to the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the Internal Revenue Service. As a result of these violations, we are asking the court to, among other things, permanently bar Mr. Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump from serving as an officer or director in any corporation or similar entity registered and/or licensed in New York, to bar Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization from entering into any New York State commercial real estate acquisition or from applying for loans from any financial institution in New York for five years, to pay for the financial benefits obtained as a result of the persistent fraudulent practices at an estimated $250 million.