Judge endorses Independent Monitor in New York AG victory

The entrance to Trump Tower on 5th Avenue is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, May 19, 2021.

Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

A New York state judge has approved the appointment of a special comptroller to oversee the Trump Organization’s financials and reporting, and banned the company from transferring non-cash assets without informing the public. advance the court and the state attorney general’s office.

decision by Judge Arthur Engoron on Thursday is a blow to Trump and three of his adult children, who were named in a vast lawsuit filed in September by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

The lawsuit accused the Trumps and other senior Trump Organization officials of decades of financial statement fraud.

Engoron’s written order said the appointment of an independent monitor was warranted given “persistent misrepresentations in each of Mr. Trump’s terms.” [Statements of Financial Condition] between 2011 and 2021.”

The Comptroller would “ensure that there is no further fraud or illegality that violates” New York State law prohibiting fraud.

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Trump fought James’ lawsuit in New York and on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the New York official in Florida. The suit accuses james to violate Trump’s right to privacy in Florida, his current state of residence. He also accuses the attorney general of trying to take control of Trump’s businesses through his lawsuit against the Trump Organization.

In a statement late Thursday, Trump called the decision “ridiculous” and urged courts in New York and Florida to end what he called an “inquisition.”

Engeron’s order also grants a petition filed by James which prohibits Trump and his company from transferring their assets without notifying the court in advance. In his request, James said Trump appeared to be trying to move the Trump Companies out of New York State in an apparent effort to get out of James’ jurisdiction.

James noted that the company registered a new entity in Delaware on Sept. 15 called Trump Organization, LLC. A week later, the Trump Organization registered a new corporation with New York State called Trump Organization II, LLC.

Trump’s lawyers opposed James’ request for an outside monitor in an Oct. 27 court filing, arguing that a monitor would amount to “a politically motivated attempt to nationalize a highly successful private company.”

Engoron rejected their reasoning and wrote in its order that Trump’s legal team was confusing a court-appointed independent monitor with a court-appointed receiver. A monitor “supervises”, wrote Engoron, while a receiver takes “control of the whole organization”.

Trump attorney Chris Kise disputed the distinction, saying in a statement Thursday that the judge’s order “takes control of the financial affairs” of Trump’s company “based on nothing more than an exaggeration. gross standard rating differences”, which Kise said was “common in resorts”. commercial real estate financing transactions.

Since the lawsuit was first filed in September, Trump’s legal team has argued that Trump’s exaggeration of the value of his properties when he applied for bank loans was simply part of the negotiation process. , not financial fraud.

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