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NY Criminal Referral in Trump Fraud Suit; Court OKs DOJ Florida Probe

New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a civil fraud suit against former President Trump, three of his adult children and his company, alleging they engaged in a decadelong scheme to value their assets falsely and generated$250 million in ill-gotten gains. James, a Democrat and Trump critic, alleged that Trump’s financial statements from 2011 to 2021 included 200 false and misleading valuations across 23 properties and assets, including residential buildings, golf clubs and the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. The Trump Organization provided false statements to insurers and lenders, reaping favorable terms and other benefits, the lawsuit alleged. While the lawsuit is civil, it alleges that the defendants violated state criminal laws and possibly federal laws, including those barring bank fraud and providing false statements to financial institutions. James said her office had made a criminal referral of its findings to the U.S. Attorney. Trump called the case a witch hunt in a social-media post, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Separately, an appeals court panel granted the Justice Department’s request to overturn aspects of U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon’s ruling that delayed a criminal investigation into sensitive documents seized from Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. The panel ruled that Cannon, a Trump appointee, erred when she prevented federal prosecutors from using the roughly 100 documents — marked as classified – recovered from the estate as part of a criminal inquiry. Trump “has not even attempted to show that he has a need to know the information contained in the classified documents,” the panel ruled, reports Politico. Two of three judges on the panel, Andrew Brasher and Britt Grant, were appointed by Trump. The third, Robin Rosenbaum, was appointed by President Obama. In the unanimous decision, the judges declared it “self-evident” that the public interest favored allowing the Justice Department to determine whether any of the records were improperly disclosed, risking national security damage.


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