Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s investigation into the Trump Organization may be ramping up.
Vance’s office subpoenaed the New York City Tax Commission, which reviews property tax assessments, as part of its criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump’s company, Reuters reported.
The subpoena would likely force the agency to provide Vance’s office with documents the Trump Organization filed with the agency in an effort to lower tax assessments for its portfolio, including Trump Tower and Trump Plaza.
The action suggests that Vance may be looking at the values assigned to the company’s commercial properties and whether there were any instances of fraud or falsification of records.
Vance, who declined to comment on the subpoena, hasn’t disclosed the focus of the investigation.
Daniel J. Horwitz, a white-collar defense lawyer, told Reuters that if Trump claimed a substantially lower value for a property in its tax filings than it did in documents it submitted to creditors, the discrepancy could help back up a fraud charge.
Vance subpoenaed at least two creditors — Deutsche Ban and Ladder Capital — that helped finance Trump’s real estate holdings.
The Manhattan DA scored another win against the former president today: The Supreme Court rejected Trump’s efforts to shield his tax returns from Vance, effectively ending the legal battle over his financial records. Vance responded to the news with three words, according to the Washington Post: “The work continues.”
New York State Attorney General Letitia James is leading a separate civil probe into whether Trump’s company falsely reported property values to secure loans and obtain economic and tax benefits. [Reuters] — Akiko Matsuda