The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has subpoenaed a New York City property tax agency as part of a criminal probe into one of former President Donald Trump’s companies.
The move suggests that Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. is examining the values Trump assigned to some commercial properties in tax filings and loan documents and looking for possible evidence of fraud.
Vance’s office and lawyers for the Trump Organization declined requests from Reuters to comment on the tax commission subpoena.
Citing grand jury secrecy rules, Vance’s office hasn’t publicly said what it is investigating, but some details have emerged in court filings that suggest prosecutors are seeking evidence of possible falsification of records as well as insurance and tax fraud.
Vance’s office sent subpoenas to local governments in the New York City suburbs last month, seeking information about a Westchester estate Trump owns there, and 158 acres of land he donated to a conservation land trust in order to qualify for an income tax deduction.
Earlier in the week, Vance’s office added Mark Pomerantz, a prominent former prosecutor, to bolster its team investigating possible fraud claims against Trump’s company, according to Danny Frost, a spokesman for the office, CNN reported.
Separately, New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, is conducting a civil probe into whether the Trump Organization improperly manipulated the value of Trump’s assets on annual financial statements in order to secure loans and obtain tax benefits.
The Trump Organization has described the probe as politically-motivated and earlier accused James of “continued harassment.”
“While we have tried to cooperate in good faith with the investigation at every turn, the NYAG’s continued harassment of the company as we approach the election (and filing of this motion on the first day of the Republican National Convention) once again confirms that this investigation is all about politics,” a Trump Organization lawyer told news outlets last year.
James said in August 2020 that she had been probing the allegations since 2019 after Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen testified before Congress. The investigation remained confidential for months.
With Trump now out of office, he no longer enjoys its protective cloak of immunity. A criminal conviction would be an unprecedented event in American history, with no ex-president ever even charged with a crime, much less convicted for one.