The New York Attorney-General’s office says it has opened a criminal investigation into US former president Donald Trump’s company, going beyond what began as a civil probe.
- Investigators have been probing whether the company falsely reported property values to secure loans and obtain benefits
- The Manhattan District Attorney has also been investigating Trump’s pre-presidency business dealings for some time
- Mr Trump has previously said the investigations are politically motivated
Attorney-General Letitia James has been investigating whether the Trump Organization falsely reported property values to secure loans and obtain economic and tax benefits.
“We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organisation is no longer purely civil in nature,” spokesman for the Attorney-General’s office Fabien Levy said in a statement.
“We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA.”
The Trump Organization could not immediately be reached for comment.
Mr Trump has previously said that the investigation overseen by Ms James, a Democrat, was politically motivated.
Ms James has been investigating whether the Trump Organization inflated the values of some properties to obtain better loans, and lowered their values to get property tax breaks.
Separately, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has been investigating Mr Trump’s pre-presidency business dealings for more than two years.
Mr Vance’s office has said in court filings it was investigating “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct” at the former president’s Trump Organization, including tax and insurance fraud and falsification of business records.
Mr Vance’s probe began after Mr Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, paid hush money to silence two women before the 2016 election about claimed sexual encounters with the former president.
That investigation has accelerated since Mr Trump lost his bid for a second term to current US President Joe Biden.