Anti-Trump protesters gather outside the New York County Supreme Court in New York City, USA, April 25, 2022.
David Dee Delgado | Reuters
A New York judge on Monday ordered the commercial real estate services giant Cushman and Wakefield to comply with subpoenas on his appraisals of several Trump Organization properties that were scrutinized in a civil investigation by the New York Attorney General’s Office, a spokesperson for that office said.
The order from Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron has arrived hours later the same hero judge former president Donald Trump in contempt of court for failing to comply with another subpoena issued by Attorney General Letitia James seeking commercial documents as part of her investigation.
The judge, a Democrat elected to the bench in 2015, said Trump would have to pay $ 10,000 a day in penalties for each day he failed to deliver documents. Trump’s lawyer said he would appeal the sentence.
“For the second time today, a judge made it clear that no one is above the law,” James said in a statement. “Cushman & Wakefield’s work for Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization is clearly relevant to our investigation and we are delighted that it has now been confirmed by the court. Our investigation will continue undaunted.”
James’s investigation focuses on allegations that the Trump Organization incorrectly stated the true values of multiple real estate assets when applying for loans and insurance coverage and in tax returns in an effort to obtain more favorable financial terms.
James’s office on Monday said Engoron had granted Cushman & Wakefield, who had refused to comply with the request for documents, until May 27 to deliver the documents based on his subpoenas.
“The work of Cushman & Wakefield for the Trump Organization is significant to our ongoing investigation into Donald J. Trump and the financial practices of the Trump Organization,” James said earlier this month.
Cushman & Wakefield did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Engoron’s order.
The Attorney General filed a motion on April 8 seeking to force Cushman & Wakefield to comply with subpoenas related to his work for the Trump Organization.
Former United States President Donald Trump speaks during a rally to promote Ohio Republican candidates ahead of the May 3 primary election at the Delaware County Fairground, Ohio on April 23, 2022.
Gaelen Morse | Reuters
His office said the company “refused to comply with subpoenas for information pertaining to its valuations of three specific Trump-owned properties – Seven Springs Estate, Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles and 40 Wall Street – and information on Cushman’s broader business relationship with the Trump Organization, “according to a press release.
James’s office also said that with respect to the Seven Springs Estate in Westchester County, NY, and the Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles, “evidence indicates that the Trump Organization has submitted fraudulent or misleading assessments of the easements of storage at the Internal Revenue Service “.
“Those assessments were used to obtain tax deductions and involved assessments issued by Cushman,” the statement said.
The press release also noted that “Cushman issued more ratings than 40 Wall Street in Midtown Manhattan,” including three ratings issued to “Capital One Bank between 2010 and 2012, assessing the Trump Organization’s interest in the property between $ 200 million and $ 220 million. “
Allen Weisselberg (C), the former president of the United States, the company’s chief financial officer Donald Trump, arrives to attend the criminal case hearing at the Lower Manhattan Criminal Court in New York on July 1, 2021.
Timothy A Clary | AFP | Getty Images
“In 2015, Cushman’s same team prepared another property valuation for Ladder Capital Finance LLC, this time, valuing the building at $ 550 million,” James’s office said at the time. That valuation was used by the Trump Organization to get a loan. “
Jack Weisselberg, the son of Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, works at Ladder Capital. Allen Weisselberg and the Trump Organization were indicted last year on criminal charges accusing them of a scheme that since 2005 had tried to avoid payroll taxes for the CFO and other leaders of the Trump Organization.
Allen Weisselberg and the Trump Organization pleaded not guilty in that criminal case, which is being prosecuted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
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