N.Y. Attorney General Files Fraud Suit Against Donald, Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump: 'The Art of the Steal'

N.Y. Attorney General Files Fraud Suit Against Donald, Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump: 'The Art of the Steal'

New York Attorney General Letitia James has sued former President Donald Trump, three of his adult children — Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump — and senior executives at the Trump Organization for fraud, her office announced Wednesday.

The lawsuit alleges that the former president — with the help of his children and the executives mentioned in the filing — falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars in an effort to induce banks to lend money to the Trump Organization on more favorable terms and to obtain other economic and tax benefits.

James' office said in a press release that "from 2011-2021, Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization knowingly and intentionally created more than 200 false and misleading valuations of assets on his annual Statements of Financial Condition to defraud financial institutions."

RELATED: New York Attorney General Claims She Has Evidence of Fraud by Trump, Don Jr. and Ivanka

Letitia James
Letitia James

Dee Delgado/Getty Letitia James

In a press conference held Wednesday, James said she seeks to make Trump pay $250 million in fines, ban the family from operating any New York businesses in the future, and ban the former president and the Trump Organization from buying commercial real estate in New York for five years.

Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C Groundbreaking Ceremony
Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C Groundbreaking Ceremony

Paul Morigi/WireImage

James is also, she said, making a criminal referral to the U.S. Department of Justice.

"With the help of his children and senior executives at the Trump Organization, Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and cheat the system," James said in a statement. "In fact, the very foundation of his purported net worth is rooted in incredible fraud and illegality. Mr. Trump thought he could get away with the art of the steal, but today, that conduct ends."

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The suit stems from a three-year-long investigation into the Trump Organization and its executives. James' office has previously said it has evidence of "fraudulent or misleading asset valuations" used by the Trumps to secure loans, insurance coverage and tax deductions — and that all of those mentioned in the suit (including the three Trump children) were "directly involved in one or more transactions under review."

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According to James' office, the Trump Organization financial statements in question falsely represented that company valuations were prepared in consultation with "professionals." Instead, James' office claims that "no outside professionals were retained to prepare any of the asset valuations for the statements" and that the former president and others at the Trump Organization "routinely ignored or contradicted" any advice that did come from professionals.

The family has said the probe is baseless and the former president's adult children previously asked a judge to quash what they called an "unprecedented and unconstitutional" bid for their testimony after being subpoenaed in December.

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Ultimately, however, the family was required to testify under oath, with the former president, Don Jr. and Ivanka appearing in August.

Eric — Trump's middle son, who serves as an executive vice president at Trump Organization — was subpoenaed earlier and testified in 2020.

According to reports, however, both Eric and former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg — also named in the fraud suit announced Wednesday — asserted their Fifth Amendment right when questioned.