Anti-Trump protesters gather outside the New York County Supreme Court on April 25, 2022 in New York City, United States.
David Dee Delgado | Reuters
A New York judge on Monday ordered commercial real estate services giant Cushman & Wakefield to comply with subpoenas over its valuations of several Trump Organization properties under investigation in a civil investigation by the New York Attorney General’s Office, a spokesman for the agency said.
The order by Manhattan Superior Court Justice Arthur Engoron came hours after the same judge found former President Donald Trump in contempt of court for failing to comply with another subpoena from Attorney General Letitia James to remove business documents as part of her investigation to request.
The judge, a Democrat elected to the bench in 2015, said Trump would be fined $10,000 a day for each day he failed to turn over the documents. Trump’s attorney said she will appeal the verdict.
“For the second time today, a judge has made it clear that no one is above the law,” James said in a statement. “Cushman & Wakefield’s work for Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization is clearly relevant to our investigation, and we are pleased that this has now been confirmed by the court. Our investigations continue undeterred.”
James’ investigation focuses on allegations that the Trump Organization misrepresented the true values of several real estate investments in loan and insurance applications and tax-related filings in order to obtain more favorable financial terms.
James’ office said Monday Engoron had given Cushman & Wakefield, which refused to comply with the request for documents, until May 27 to turn over the documents in accordance with their subpoenas.
“Cushman & Wakefield’s work for the Trump Organization is significant to our ongoing investigation into Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization’s financial practices,” James said earlier this month.
Cushman & Wakefield did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Engoron’s order.
The Attorney General filed a motion on April 8 to compel Cushman & Wakefield to comply with subpoenas related to their work for the Trump Organization.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally to strengthen Ohio’s Republican nominees ahead of their May 3 primary at the Fairgrounds in Delaware, Ohio, the United States, April 23, 2022.
Gaelen Morse | Reuters
Her office said the company “has refused to comply with subpoenas to share information related to its valuations of three specific Trump-owned properties — the Seven Springs Estate, Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles and 40 Wall Street — and information about Cushman’s larger deal to maintain relationship with the Trump Organization,” read a press release.
James’ office also said that regarding the Seven Springs Estate in Westchester County, NY, and the Trump National Golf Club in LA, “evidence suggests the Trump Organization submitted fraudulent or misleading ratings of conservation services to the IRS.” .
“These assessments were used to obtain tax deductions and included estimates issued by Cushman,” the press release said.
The press release also states that “Cushman prepared multiple assessments of 40 Wall Street in downtown Manhattan,” including three assessments that were “issued to Capital One Bank between 2010 and 2012,” with participation from the Trump Organization the property was valued at between $200 million and $220 million. “
Allen Weisselberg (C), former chief financial officer of U.S. President Donald Trump’s company, arrives for the criminal case hearing at the Lower Manhattan Criminal Court in New York July 1, 2021.
Timothy A Clary | AFP | Getty Images
“In 2015, the same Cushman team prepared another valuation of the property for Ladder Capital Finance LLC, this time valued at $550 million,” James’ office said at the time. This estimate was used by the Trump Organization to secure a loan.”
Jack Weisselberg, the son of Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, works at Ladder Capital. Allen Weisselberg and the Trump Organization were indicted last year over a plan that since 2005 had attempted to avoid taxes on the compensation of the Trump Organization’s CFO and other executives.
Allen Weisselberg and the Trump Organization have pleaded not guilty to this criminal case being pursued by the Manhattan Attorney’s Office.
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https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/25/judge-orders-cushman-wakefield-to-comply-with-trump-subpoenas-.html Judge orders Cushman & Wakefield to comply with Trump subpoenas