Inquiry into Trump’s business turns into criminal investigation with possible bank fraud probe

The New York attorney general’s office’s investigation of former President Donald Trump’s business now has a criminal component, a spokesman said Tuesday night, 18 May, joining the Manhattan district attorney’s office probe and expanding a months-long inquiry that until now had been focused on civil fraud.

“We have informed the Trump Organisation that our investigation into the organisation is no longer purely civil in nature,” said Fabien Levy, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office. “We are now actively investigating the Trump Organisation in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA.”

The Manhattan district attorney’s office is conducting an investigation into possible bank fraud and other potential crimes. Separately, the top local prosecutor in the Atlanta area is probing whether Trump improperly tried to influence election officials last year.

The Trump Organisation didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the investigation, which was reported earlier by CNN.

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Trump has previously called the investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, a partisan “witch hunt.”

The New York attorney general’s civil investigation became public last August, when the office said it was looking into whether the Trump Organisation and President Trump improperly inflated the value of Trump’s assets in financial filings. Attorney general’s office investigators have probed several Trump properties, including his sprawling upstate New York estate Seven Springs, a Financial District skyscraper at 40 Wall Street, and Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago, a hotel and residential complex, according to court filings.

The New York attorney general has limited capacity to investigate crimes. Its criminal investigatory authority extends to the sale of securities, labour law violations and Medicaid fraud, among other matters. It can also be asked to investigate crimes by the head of several New York state agencies, including the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

Deanna Paul contributed to this article.

Write to Michael Amon at [email protected]

This article was published by Dow Jones Newswires

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