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New York AG asks judge to force Cushman & Wakefield to comply with subpoenas in Trump civil case


Letitia James says the Trump Organization has inflated real estate values.

The New York Attorney General’s office on Friday asked a judge to force Cushman & Wakefield to comply with subpoenas issued in the civil investigation into former President Donald Trump.

The motion to compel followed two subpoenas, one issued last February and another in September of last year, which sought documents and records associated with several Trump properties: 40 Wall Street, a skyscrapers in Manhattan; Seven Springs, an estate in Westchester, New York; and Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles.

Cushman & Wakefield handled the appraisals for those properties, which were the subject of a civil investigation by the attorney general’s office into possible manipulation as the Trump Organization sought tax breaks and favorable loan terms.

Trump and the Trump Organization have denied any wrongdoing. ABC News reached out to the two to comment on the attorney general’s new request.

Cushman & Wakefield, which has not been charged with any wrongdoing, complied with a subpoena issued early in the investigation but said the two most recent were too broad and constituted harassment of the ‘business.

“Cushman & Wakefield’s work for the Trump Organization is important to our ongoing investigation into Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization’s financial practices,” Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. “There should be no doubt that information about Cushman’s assessment work for the Trump Organization is relevant to our efforts and that Cushman – like any other party – cannot challenge a legal subpoena because no one is above the law.”

In a statement to ABC News, Cushman & Wakefield wrote, “Any suggestion that Cushman & Wakefield failed to respond in good faith to the Attorney General’s investigation is fundamentally false. The Attorney General’s documents do not accurately describe Cushman & Wakefield’s responses to previous subpoenas and requests for information. We support our reviewers and our work.

The commercial brokerage firm, which also handled office leasing at several Trump properties, severed ties with Trump after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, saying in a statement at the time: “Cushman & Wakefield took the decision to no longer do business with the Trump Organization.”

The Trump Organization bought Seven Springs, the 212-acre property in Mount Kisco, New York, in 1995, hoping to develop a golf course and, when that was rejected, luxury homes.

In 2004, the Trump Organization appraised the property at $80 million; in 2007 they valued it at $200 million; and in 2012 they appraised it at $291 million, based on the claim that the property was zoned for nine homes with an alleged $161 million profit, the prosecutor’s office said. general.

Two separate professional appraisers appraised the lots believed to be developed at fractions of the prices used in Trump’s financial disclosure statement, the attorney general’s office said.

The attorney general’s office has also raised questions about the true value of Trump’s leasehold interest at 40 Wall Street. External appraisals conducted by Cushman & Wakefield in 2010-2012 for Capital One, which held a $160 million mortgage on the building, valued the Trump Organization’s interest in the property at between $200 million and $220 million.

During the same period, according to the attorney general’s office, Trump’s financial statements showed that 40 Wall Street had a valuation of $601.8 million in 2010, $524.7 million in 2011, $527.2 million in 2012 and $530.7 million in 2013. These values ​​were between two and three times higher than recorded in the three consecutive assessments.

ABC News

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