New York Attorney General Letitia James is seeking $250 million in penalties from the Trump Organization. (Anthony Jackson/USA Today)



Smart Black Woman Takes Down Former President 

Before Letitia James ascended to become New York’s top prosecutor, she established herself as a leading progressive political figure throughout the state. A graduate of Howard University Law School, James has worked as a lawyer for Legal Aid and has served as an assistant state attorney general.


She also served as a New York city council member and is seen by many as one of the leaders of the New York Democratic Party.  Now, New York’s top lawyer is seeking to put an end to former President Donald Trump and his family’s business dealings.


According to the James lawsuit, former President Trump and his family have manipulated and in some instances lied and/or bullied his way through the legal and financial system.  But, on September 21, 2022, the former President and business mogul may have finally met his match in dealing with New York Attorney General Letitia James.


New York Attorney General Letitia James is seeking $250 million in penalties from the Trump Organization. (Anthony Jackson/USA Today)

Attorney General James’ has now concluded a three-year long investigation that started while Trump was in the White House and filed a 222-page lawsuit against Donald Trump, his three children, and his entire business empire.  What many believe was the culmination of the lawsuit was the indictment and plea agreement that he District Attorney made with Adam Weisselberg, the former CFO and confidant of the entire Trump organization.


The state of New York in its lawsuit alleges that the defendants, in their dealings with banks and insurance companies, grossly and fraudulently inflated their assets by billions of dollars in order to qualify for loans and or other favorable terms in the structuring and restructuring of financial deals by Trump, his family members and his numerous businesses.


What makes the lawsuit more interesting is that Attorney General James not only went after Donald Trump as the chairman and head of the Trump organizations, but she also filed the lawsuit against his children claiming that all of the Trumps “repeatedly and persistently violated” New York laws, and that the defendants engaged in numerous plots to falsify business records and financial statements.

Donald Trump, right, sits with his children, from left, Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump during a groundbreaking ceremony for the Trump International Hotel on July 23, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)


The lawsuit alleges that Trump, Don Jr., Eric, Ivanka, and Weisselberg together conspired “to falsify the Statements of Financial Condition, supporting data spreadsheets, and other business records,” to make “materially inaccurate written instruments purporting to describe Donald Trump’s financial condition,” and to submit “materially false information” “in support of insurance applications” with the requisite intent for that conduct to violate the law.


The current Manhattan D.A., Alvin L. Bragg, has indicated that a related criminal investigation is ongoing, but there is no expectation that Bragg will indict Donald Trump or his family. Criminal cases have a higher standard of proof than civil cases, which are less likely to require evidence of a defendant’s actual knowledge or intent. However, James reportedly also forwarded the entire case to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the IRS, to investigate whether these actions amount to crimes under federal law.

Attorney General Letitia James (Courtesy Image)


James accuses Trump and his family of many allegations, but the following are the most egregious charges:

  • A bank appraisal valued a Trump Building at 40 Wall Street at $200 million in 2010 and $220 million in 2012. Yet in their statements of financial condition, Trump and the Trump Organization listed its value at $524 – $530 million between 2011 and 2013.
  • Trump’s apartment in Trump Tower is 10,996 square feet, but in 2015 he calculated it as 30,000 square feet in size and valued it at $29,738 per square foot for a total value of $327 million. At that time, only one apartment in New York City had sold for $100 million, at less than $10,000 per square foot.
  • In 2011 and 2012 financial statements, the defendants valued a cluster of apartments at Trump Park Avenue at nearly $50 million. But those units were rent stabilized, and thus judged by an appraiser in 2010 to be worth only $750,000.
  • In 2016, the defendants valued Mar-a-Lago based on a price-per-acre figure that was 120 percent greater than the prior year’s figure, using a purportedly comparable 1.61-acre property owned by the Trump Organization that sold for $49.9 million. Except it turns out that other property was actually 2.61 acres, and the Trump Organization had used that correct figure in prior years. The discrepancy had the effect of increasing the 2016 value of that comparable property from $19.1 million to over $30 million and greatly inflating the reported value of Mar-a-Lago.


The James’s lawsuit has serious financial implications for the Trumps. If she succeeds at trial, James seeks to have the corporate certificates of every entity controlled by Trump in New York canceled – meaning those businesses as currently constituted will cease to exist.


They include, at a minimum, the businesses named as defendants in the case, including the Trump Organization, Inc., the real estate development company that owns and operates buildings, hotels, golf clubs, restaurants, and casinos in the State of New York.

The complaint also aims to wrest control of the companies from the Trump family and give it to an “independent monitor” for at least the next five years; replace the current trustees of the Trump Revocable Trust (which include Don Jr. and Weisselberg); bar Trump and the Trump Organization “from entering into any New York State commercial real estate acquisitions” for five years and from “applying for loans from any financial institution chartered by or registered with the New York Department of Financial Services” for five years; and “permanently bar Mr. Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump from serving as an officer or director in any New York corporation or similar business entity registered and/or licensed in New York State.”


James is also seeking an award of disgorgement for all financial benefits obtained by each Defendant from the fraudulent scheme, including all financial benefits from lenders and insurers through repeated and persistent fraudulent practices of an amount to be determined at trial but estimated to be $250,000,000, plus interest.