Manhattan DA Cy Vance hires forensic bankers to aid investigation into Trump Organisation

The consultants are likely looking into Mr Trump’s bank and mortgage records

Graig Graziosi
Wednesday 30 December 2020 19:42 GMT
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Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr has hired forensic accountants to assist in his probe into Donald Trump's Trump Organisation.

The DA is investigating potential financial crimes committed by the organisation, including Mr Trump, his family, and allies.

The Washington Post reported that Mr Vance hired FTI Consulting, which is one of the largest financial consulting firms on the planet. Its services include investigations, data analytics, litigation, and forensics, among others.

The FTI consultants are likely investigating the Trump Organisation's bank and mortgage records.

Neither Mr Vance nor FTI have spoken publicly about the nature of the firm's work on the case.

Mr Vance is seeking eight years worth of Mr Trump's tax returns from the president's accounting firm, Mazars USA.

Mr Trump did not disclose the tax returns Mr Vance is seeking.

Mr Trump argued that, as president, he was immune from criminal probes into his finances. The Supreme Court ruled against his claim.

A lower court ruled that Mr Trump could not hide his tax returns from Mr Vance. The case was appealed to a higher court. If that court affirms the lower court's ruling, Mr Vance will gain access to the tax records.

Mr Vance's probe started with an investigation into money paid by Mr Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to silence adult film star Stormy Daniels for sex work.

Since then, the probe has expanded to include a number of financial crimes, including potential tax, bank and insurance frauds.

Prosecuting Mr Trump without an insider providing Mr Vance with information would prove difficult. It is likely Mr Vance will bring criminal charges against the Trump Organisation rather than the president himself.

Mr Vance's investigation is a particularly dangerous one for Mr Trump, as - should Mr Vance charge him with a crime - the president cannot use a presidential pardon to clear himself.

Pardons only cover federal crimes, not crimes prosecuted at the state level.

New York's Attorney General, Letitia James, has also launched an investigation into the Trump Organisation.

Her enquiry is a civil investigation into whether the organisation artificially inflated the values of its properties in order to obtain tax breaks.

Should Ms James find wrongdoing, the organisation could be subject to fines. 

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