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Old 15-02-22, 10:03   #14
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Movies re: TRUMP Prosecutions: Judge Rules TRUMP & Children MUST Testify Over His CO. Fraud

TRUMP Accountants Say Financial Reports Unreliable

Accounting Firm Dumps Trump Over Dubious Financial Statements

BBC News 15 FEB.2022.







Donald Trump's accounting firm has cut ties with the former president and said a decade of financial reports should "no longer be relied upon".


The firm, Mazars, said in a letter to the Trump Organization that it could not stand behind statements it had prepared for Mr Trump from 2011-20.




But Mazars said it had not concluded they contained material discrepancies.

The letter was revealed in a court filing as part of a fraud investigation into the Trump Organization.

In the filing, New York Attorney General Letitia James repeated her request that the former president and his daughter, Ivanka, give evidence under oath. Her office has already questioned Mr Trump's son, Eric Trump.

Ms James last month said her civil inquiry into the Trump family firm had uncovered what she claimed was "significant evidence" of misleading business practices, including over-valuing certain assets.

In its letter, Mazars wrote that the findings of Ms James' investigation had contributed to the conclusion that the statements should no longer be relied upon.

The firm also said it performed its work in "accordance with professional standards", and compiled the reports based on information provided by the Trump Organization.

"While we have not concluded that the various financial statements, as a whole, contain material discrepancies, based upon the totality of the circumstances, we believe our advice to you to no longer rely upon those financial statements is appropriate," the letter said.

It added that the firm would no longer be working with the Trump Organization.


The financial documents are at the heart of the New York attorney general's civil investigation and a second, criminal inquiry by the Manhattan District Attorney's office.

In January Ms James, a Democrat, accused the Trump Organization of using "fraudulent or misleading asset valuations" to get loans, insurance and tax breaks.

Mr Trump's lawyers are trying to stop Ms James from questioning the former US president and his children, and he has sued her to try to halt the probe.

A spokesperson for the Trump Organization said the letter from Mazars renders the investigations moot, because it suggests that the financial statements do not contain material discrepancies, according to CBS News.
Mr Trump, a Republican, has previously said both inquiries are politically motivated and has referred to Ms James' investigation as a "hoax".


Trumpís Taxes: Why They Matter to a Criminal Probe





A criminal investigation into the financial affairs of former US President Donald Trump and his family business gained momentum last year.



On 22 February 2021 the Supreme Court ordered Mr Trump to hand over his tax returns and other financial records to prosecutors in New York.





The ruling was a setback for Mr Trump, who had sought to prevent prosecutors from seeing his records for months.

The records are considered to be central to the criminal investigation.

They could be "a pretty important piece of the puzzle", Daniel R Alonso, a former US federal and New York state prosecutor, told the BBC.

Trump ordered to hand over tax returns

You may be asking: what is this criminal investigation, and what is the significance of Mr Trump's records?


Here, we explain what it's all about.

What is The Investigation?


Let's start with the basics.


This is a criminal investigation being carried out by prosecutors in the state of New York.

Cyrus Vance, the former Democratic district attorney of Manhattan, was the lead prosecutor in the investigation until the new district attorney took over on 1 January.

This is Alvin Bragg, who is now leading the case.

He and his team are merely looking into the possibility of crimes at the moment.

Mr Trump, a Republican, has continuously denied wrongdoing and suggested the investigation is politically motivated.







Alvin Bragg became the new Democratic district attorney in January and is now leading the investigation




As part of the investigation, they are examining the financial and tax affairs of Mr Trump and his family business, the Trump Organization.

The family business and its finance chief have been charged with helping executives evade taxes.

Lawyers for the firm and the finance chief have pleaded not guilty to tax fraud.

Criminal probe into Trump's 'find the votes' call


It is one of two known criminal investigations into Mr Trump. The other concerns alleged attempts by Mr Trump to overturn results from November 2020's presidential election in the state of Georgia.


How did we get here?


The investigation began in 2018, when Mr Trump was still president.

At first, the investigation examined the Trump Organization's role in hush-money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to two women who said they had had affairs with Mr Trump.


Michael Cohen - Mr Trump's former personal lawyer - was jailed for his role in the scheme under federal, or national, laws in 2018.

Five things Cohen said about Trump






Meanwhile, the district attorney has been assessing whether the Trump Organization broke any state laws in New York in relation to the payoffs.

So that's it? No, not quite.


The investigation has widened to include other possible crimes.



The New York Times, citing unnamed sources, said last year that Mr Vance, the district attorney at the time, had "been examining whether Mr Trump, his company and its employees committed insurance, tax and banking fraud, among other crimes".

This is where the tax and financial records come in.



The investigating team needs them to establish if any crimes have been committed.

For months they have been trying to obtain eight years' worth of Mr Trump's personal and corporate tax returns.

In July 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that Mr Trump's records could be examined by the prosecutor's office.

But lawyers representing Mr Trump challenged that ruling, suggesting that the court filing was "wildly overbroad" and issued in bad faith.


On 22 February last year, the court rejected that argument.


The US Supreme Court




The Supreme Court ruling has paved the way for prosecutors to begin combing through Mr Trump's financial records


The ruling meant that the district attorney could now gain access to the records, allowing him and his team to pore over them.

"The significance is quite large," Mr Alonso said of the ruling. "I mean that in the sense that it is significant and there are going to be a lot of documents. These documents could be in the millions."

In a succinct statement addressing the ruling, the former district attorney Mr Vance said: "The work continues."

By contrast, Mr Trump dismissed the investigation as a "political witch hunt".


What could prosecutors learn from the tax records?


The records will give prosecutors a fuller picture of Mr Trump's financial affairs.

For example, prosecutors may be able to explore certain investigative theories, seek interviews with witnesses, and establish whether any state laws have been violated.

As well as Mr Trump's tax returns, analysis by accountants and their communications with their client could be included in the tranche of records, Mr Alonso said.

"All that stuff is going to be important, given the allegations that are out there," he said.

We know from court filings that Mr Vance had mentioned tax fraud as a hypothetical crime, should evidence be found to support it.





People walk by a Trump-owned property on Wall Street


Mr Vance has been looking into the financial affairs of Mr Trump and his family business for two years


Many wealthy Americans use loopholes to reduce the amount of tax they are legally bound to pay.

But the records could be crucial in determining the legality of accounting methods Mr Trump and his company may have used.

It will take time for investigators to review the records. The investigation has run beyond the end of Mr Vance's term as an elected district attorney. Mr Bragg has since inherited the case and is leading it.

So, as you can probably tell, much remains unclear.


How serious could this be for Trump?


"It's not one to be taken lightly," Mr Alonso said. "Clearly, it's a substantial investigation."

At this point, it is not clear whether prosecutors will file any criminal charges against Mr Trump, his company, or his business partners.

The investigation may come to nothing.

However, if prosecutors do find evidence of wrongdoing, criminal proceedings are a possibility.

In New York, some types of tax fraud can be charged as crimes known as felonies, which can carry lengthy prison sentences.








Hypothetically, Mr Trump could be summoned to court for a criminal trial in New York, in the event he is charged.

This outcome - albeit theoretical at this point - would seriously undermine Mr Trump's chances of a political comeback.

At the moment, though, Mr Trump's tax records merely give the district attorney's office the opportunity to expand its investigation, nothing else.





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