Trump Organisation now under criminal investigation in New York

Trump Tower entrance is pictured amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, US, on Jan 20, 2021.
PHOTO: Reuters

The New York state attorney general’s office said on Tuesday (May 18) it has told the Trump Organisation its investigation of the company run by former President Donald Trump is now a criminal probe, not purely civil.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat, has been investigating Trump’s pre-presidency business dealings for more than two years.

“We have informed the Trump Organisation that our investigation into the organisation is no longer purely civil in nature,” spokesman Fabien Levy said in a statement.

“We are now actively investigating the Trump Organisation in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA,” he said.

The Trump Organisation could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Vance’s office has said in court filings it was investigating “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct” at the former president’s Trump Organisation, including tax and insurance fraud and falsification of business records.

Vance’s probe began after Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen paid hush money to silence two women before the 2016 election about claimed sexual encounters with Trump.

That probe has accelerated since Republican Trump lost his bid for a second term to President Joe Biden, a Democrat.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James, also a Democrat, is leading a separate criminal probe into whether Trump’s company falsely reported property values to secure loans and obtain economic and tax benefits.