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Judge appoints independent monitor to oversee Trump Organization’s financial deposits

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A judge in New York State on Thursday ordered an independent monitor to oversee the Trump Organization’s financial statements that follow: accusations that the company has vastly overestimated its assets.

Judge Arthur Engoron signed a preliminary injunction that also blocks former President Donald Trump’s company from transferring assets without court approval. In its ruling, the judge said the company must also notify the monitor of all its assets and assets and give 30 days notice of any restructuring at the company and any plans to “dispose or refinance significant assets.” of the Trump Organization”.

Given the “tendency of the defendants to engage in ongoing fraud, failure to grant such an injunction could result in extreme harm to the people of New York,” the judge wrote.

Engoron’s ruling came in a civil suit filed against the company by the New York Attorney General’s office alleging that the Trump Organization inflated its value in financial statements for banks and insurers by billions of dollars. The judge’s ruling cited numerous examples of alleged fraud by the company in the attorney general’s lawsuit, which he described as “more than sufficient to demonstrate OAG’s chance of success on the merits.”

At a hearing earlier today in the state Supreme Court in lower Manhattan, Trump attorney Chris Kise argued the move was unnecessary and could impede the company’s operations.

“It’s really about taking control of a successful business,” Kise said of the monitor request.

Kevin Wallace, an attorney for the attorney general’s office, said, “Our goal is not to influence the day-to-day operations” of the company, but “oversight”.

He said the office seeks to protect against “ongoing fraudulent or deceptive activity,” and that the “Trump organization has a consistent track record of failing to comply with court orders. It would not be up to the court or the attorney general.” should be to oversee their shoulder.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James asked the judge to take action last month, citing actions the company took around the time it filed a $250 million lawsuit against Trump, his three oldest children and the Trump Organization for alleged fraudulent business practices in September.

The request for provisional provision said Trump Organization representatives had set up a new company of the same name in Delaware six days before James’ office brought the suit. The company then filed paperwork to register Trump Organization II LLC in New York on September 21, the same day the civil suit was filed.

James praised the judge’s ruling in a statement, saying it “will ensure that Donald Trump and his companies cannot continue the extensive fraud that we have uncovered”.

“No lawsuit, delaying tactics or threats will stop our pursuit of justice,” she added.

In a highly unusual move Wednesday night, Trump filed suit against James in Florida seeking a court order to block her from obtaining financial information related to his Florida trust, which the attorney general’s office has noted owns the entities that make up the Trump organization.

“President Trump is appearing in court for protection from James’ continued abuse and attempts to interfere with, gain control over, access and publicly expose the terms of his revocable Florida trust,” the lawsuit argues. claiming that James’ investigation into him is a political vendetta.

In a letter to Engoron on Thursday morning, James’s office said the trust documents “relate to ownership and control of the company’s assets.” The letter said the lawsuit was evidence that Trump is trying to “frustrate” their investigation by hiding documents they should have access to, and said it emphasized their need for immediate legal action.

Kise told NBC News that James is going too far in the New York case, claiming that the institutions allegedly misled by the company are sophisticated banks and insurers that have their own accounting procedures.

“The Attorney General should not be concerned with controlling private transactions between sophisticated commercial parties,” Kise said.

The former president has criticized the judge in the case, who earlier this year found Trump contemptuous for dragging his feet from the attorney general’s office with subpoenas. That resulted in a temporary fine of $10,000 a day until Engoron found Trump abiding by the rules.

Trump criticized Engoron in a social media post last week, calling him “cruel, biased and mean.”

The hearing came as the company faces a criminal trial, about a block from Engoron’s courtroom. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has sued the company for participating in a 15-year scheme to commit tax fraud by paying some officials off the books.

In opening statements earlier this week, a company attorney suggested the plan was all the work of former Trump Organization finance director Allen Weisselberg, who has pleaded guilty and will testify against his former employer after the trial resumes next week.

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