Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr’s office has expanded its investigations to include loans made by Ladder Capital’s subsidiaries against the iconic Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue and other properties such as 40 Wall Street, Trump International Hotel and Tower, Columbus Circle as well as the Trump Plaza on Upper East Side, sources told the Wall Street Journal.
When asked for comments by the Wall Street Journal, both the personal lawyers of Mr. Trump and those of the Trump organization declined to comment.
The investigations began as a probe against hush money paid to two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump and has widened into probing possible tax, loan and insurance fraud in his organization.
Although the precise reason for the probe has not been mentioned, there’s a possibility that the loan applications are being examined in the hope that they will unravel discrepancies in tax returns or insurance filings. Under New York law and federal statutes knowingly providing information that is false on a loan application is considered to be a crime.
Another state attorney general’s civil investigation which is checking if Trump’s businesses reported false property values gained momentum on January 29, when a New York Supreme Court Judge ruled that the Trump organization had to hand over relevant documents.
Vance’s office has asked for eight years of Trump’s tax records and other financial information from Mazars, A Supreme Court decision is expected on this request by this month according to sources.
Both the investigations are partly focusing on whether Trump’s businesses put false values on real-estate assets for several reasons such as tax breaks, loans or other benefits.
Lawyers of the Trump organization have have tried to block the disclosure of his tax records. They have denied all reports of falsifying assets or loans.
Both the investigations face a lot of challenges. White collar lawyers, who specialize in these kind of crimes, say that it would be an uphill battle unless the investigators can find not only sufficient evidence to show falsification but also find witnesses to testify about the falsification and the reasons why these records were falsified.