Eric Trump Ordered to Testify in Daddy Trump's Fraud Case Before the Election - 2020-09-23
After Michael Cohen told Congress last year that his former boss, Donald Trump, regularly inflated the value of his assets to obtain loans and deflated them to reduce his taxes, the New York attorney general opened a probe into the allegations. Not surprisingly, the Trump Organization stonewalled A.G. Letitia James's office at every turn, including in its request to depose the president's son, Eric Trump, who is running the family business with his brother in their father's absence. But unfortunately for Eric, he can neither run nor hide any longer!
On Wednesday, a New York state judge ruled that Eric must answer questions related to the fraud investigation, under oath, before the election. The president's son refused to show up for a subpoenaed interview on July 22; last week, his lawyers said he would deign to be deposed but would only do so after the November election because he didn't want his interview to be used "for political purposes." But Judge Arthur Engoron, having none of Eric's excuses, ordered him to sit for a deposition no later than October 7, saying he found the post-election argument "unpersuasive."
James's office is specifically looking at four properties where Donald Trump's alleged fraud took place: 40 Wall Street, the Manhattan building that Trump excitedly, and incorrectly, bragged was the tallest building in downtown Manhattan after the collapse of the Twin Towers; the Seven Springs estate, a 212-acre mansion in Westchester; Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles; and Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago. In a 68-page memo, James wrote that "Valuations of Seven Springs were used to claim an apparent $21.1 million tax deduction for donating a conservation easement on the property in tax year 2015, and in submissions to financial institutions as a component of Mr. Trump's net worth." Last March, an investigation by the Washington Post found that Trump brazenly inflated his assets to banks and insurance companies—claiming in one instance that he had $72 million worth of homes to sell at his golf course in Southern California when in reality the figure was more like $3 million, and adding 800 fictional acres to another—and concluded that the Trump Organization may have "defraud[ed] insurers and lenders with false information."