December 7, 2023


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NY Attorney General Letitia James asked a judge to compel Donald Trump’s real estate appraisers to comply with subpoenas


  • New York AG Letitia James on Friday asked a judge to compel Cushman & Wakefield to turn over documents.

  • The firm handled appraisals for 40 Wall Street, Trump National Golf Club in LA, and the Seven Springs estate.

  • James accused the firm of illegally withholding docs related to financial dealings involving the properties.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is chasing more Trump documents — this time from the former president’s real estate appraisers.

On Thursday, James had asked a Manhattan judge to impose a $10,000-per-day fine on Donald Trump for what she calls his failure to comply with her lawful subpoena for documents.

On Friday, she asked the same judge to force Chicago-based appraisal powerhouse Cushman & Wakefield to turn over documents she accused them, too, of illegally withholding.

“Cushman & Wakefield’s work for the Trump Organization is significant to our ongoing investigation into Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization’s financial practices,” she said in a statement Friday night.

The firm performed appraisals on three Trump-owned properties that James’ office is investigating, according to court papers that detail James’ request of Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron to compel their compliance.

One is Seven Springs, a property on 212 acres in Westchester County, north of New York City.

Court documents showed Trump received a $21.1 million deduction on his 2015 taxes by donating a 158-acre easement on the property to a conservation trust, The Washington Post reported in 2020. James’ office is probing whether Cushman & Wakefield inflated the value of the easement.

A second property is Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles, where the former president received another write-off by donating an ocean-front easement that had been assessed by Cushman & Wakefield. James accused Trump of pocketing a federal tax benefit totaling more than $5 million using “misleading” valuations of that easement, which she said failed to fully take into account that the property is prone to landslides.

The third property is 40 Wall Street, a 70-story skyscraper. The New York AG is investigating whether Cushman & Wakefield inflated the property’s value in connection with a 2015 mortgage loan refinance on the building and in other business deals.

James’ subpoena also requires the firm to turn over information about the firm’s larger business relationship with the Trump Organization.

A previous order by Engoron had required the appraisal firm to turn over all documents requested by James no later than October 2020.

A representative of Cushman & Wakefield could not immediately be reached for comment. Company lawyers previously said the subpoenas are overly broad and that it has already turned over all relevant documents.

Engoron has yet to rule on James’ request for the $10,000-a-day fine. Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. are appealing the judge’s February order that they comply with James’ demand for their depositions.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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