New Charges against Trump and His Children. Will He End Up Like Al Capone?

The lawsuit adds to the pile of Donald Trump’s growing list of long-standing legal problems, starting from the most serious charge — his attempt to stop Joe Biden from taking office.

New York Attorney General Letitia James has accused Donald Trump and his family of financial fraud of gigantic proportions, announcing a civil suit against the former president. The goal is to ban Trump from running businesses, and to ban both him and his family members from holding executive positions in state corporations. The prosecutor said that, in her opinion, Trump has also violated criminal law. Therefore, she has asked the federal prosecutor’s office and the IRS, the U.S. tax office, to bring criminal charges against him.

Charges against Trump and His Children

The indictment is the fruit of a more than three-year investigation into abuses at the Trump Organization, the former president’s real estate empire. The lawsuit announced Wednesday caps his long-mounting pile of legal problems, starting with the most serious charge — an attempt to prevent Joe Biden from taking office in 2020, first by trying to falsify the election results and then by blocking the certification by Congress. Trump is likely to face charges of storing secret documents in his residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, which he allegedly took illegally from the White House after leaving office.

The lawsuit accuses Trump and three of his adult children — daughter Ivanka, sons Donald Jr. and Eric — as well as directors of his company, of defrauding authorities by making more than 200 false or misleading statements to financial authorities since 2011. They inflated the value of the Trump Organization’s assets by billions of dollars in order to obtain loans from banks on more favorable terms and convince insurance companies to issue policies for much higher compensation amounts in the event of losses. In addition, they submitted false statements to the tax authorities to minimize liabilities.

The key evidence could have been provided by the former chief financial officer of the Trump Corporation, Allen Weisselberg, who has already confessed to financial fraud and is awaiting sentencing. In exchange for leniency, he cooperated with prosecutors and testified against the Trump Organization.

According to the New York prosecutor’s office, Trump overestimated the value of his mansion in Mar-a-Lago by nearly tenfold, citing its value at $739 million, when in fact it is worth $75 million. He also overstated the size of his apartment in the luxury skyscraper Trump Tower in Manhattan, reporting in his asset declaration that it was 30,000 square feet instead of 11,000.

Will Trump Hear ‘Guilty’?

Trump’s attorneys have said that prosecutor James’ charges were politically motivated, as she intends to run for office to become governor of New York. According to Trump’s attorney, the prosecution is selective — James “picked on” Trump, although she has dismissed the offenses of many other businessmen suspected of similar crimes. The defenders argue that the allegations of overstating the value of the company’s assets are far-fetched, because in the real estate market their value is constantly fluctuating, and it is, in fact, a subjective category. However, experts note that the size of the apartment is not open for debate, so in this case, fraud is obvious.

James decided to start with a civil suit, since weaker evidence would suffice for a guilty verdict than in the case of a trial before a criminal court. It is not yet known whether the federal prosecutor’s office will file a criminal case for financial fraud. Experts note that if this happened, it would be easier for prosecutors to get a conviction than in the case involving an attempt to change the outcome of the election. In their opinion, it would then be necessary to prove that Trump knew that the 2020 election was not rigged, and he realized that by trying to change the result, he was acting illegally. He has defended himself by using the argument that he was sincerely convinced that he had won. Whether or not he is using this argument in good faith is irrelevant.

U.S. commentators doubt whether Trump will face trial on charges of inciting insurrection — especially since he still enjoys the fanatical support of millions of people. A trial for financial fraud or illegally taking documents from the White House is more likely. Some compare the situation to the FBI’s pursuit of Al Capone during the period between the two world wars. The legendary gangster was the perpetrator of many murders, yet he got away with it all because there was no hard evidence against him. Ultimately, Al Capone was sentenced to many years in prison for failure to pay taxes.

About this publication

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply