Prosecutors from New York’s attorney general’s Letitia James’ office want to talk to Ivanka Trump about a Park Avenue apartment she leased from her family’s eponymous real estate company that was offered to her for purchase at a price far lower than the unit’s public valuation, court documents reveal.
In a motion asking a New York state judge to order Ms Trump to appear for a deposition with investigators from the attorney general’s office, the prosecutors allege Ms Trump “obtained apparently extraordinarily favourable terms” for renting an apartment at the Trump Park Avenue condominium building, with her monthly payments at “a mere fraction” of what the general public would have paid.
Ms Trump was also allegedly offered an option to purchase the unit for $8,500,000. But prosecutors have noted that her father, former president Donald Trump, listed the apartment as having a value “between $20,820,000 and $25,000,000” in statements provided to banks and other entitles he was seeking to do business with at the time.
The allegations regarding Ms Trump are just one example of what prosecutors are alleging to be a pattern of using “fraudulent or misleading asset valuations to obtain a host of economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage, and tax deductions”.
In a press release, Ms James’ office said it had obtained evidence that “indicates both that the reported values of the unsold residential units of the Trump Park Avenue building were significantly higher than the internal valuations used by the Trump Organization for business planning and failed to account for the fact that many units were rent stabilized”.
Ms James’ office has also asked the court to compel testimony from Ms Trump’s father and her brother, Donald Trump Jr.
Although her other brother, Eric Trump, gave evidence in a sworn deposition in September 2020, he reportedly declined to answer questions over 500 times on the grounds that doing so would potentially incriminate him.
The Trumps and the Trump Organization have also filed court papers looking to quash the subpoenas for their testimony, in which they allege the investigation led by Ms James is a political witch hunt to punish the family patriarch for his political views. The elder Mr Trump and his company have also sued Ms James in federal court in hopes of forcing her to end her probe of the company or recuse herself from the investigation.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Trump Organization said Ms James was “the only one misleading the public”.
“She defrauded New Yorkers by basing her entire candidacy on a promise to get Trump at all costs without having seen a shred of evidence and in violation of every conceivable ethical rule,” the spokesperson added.
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