Trump’s Manhattan properties under investigation by New York prosecutors

Officials are investigating loans that the former president took out

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The financial dealings of some of former President Donald Trump‘s signature Manhattan properties are being investigated by New York prosecutors. This move will extend the known range of the criminal probe of Trump and his company, according to people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported.

It is reported that Manhattan prosecutors are examining several loans Mr. Trump took out, including his flagship Fifth Avenue building, Trump Tower; 40 Wall St., an art deco skyscraper in New York City’s Financial District; Trump International Hotel and Tower, a hotel and condominium building at Columbus Circle; and Trump Plaza, an apartment building on Manhattan’s East Side.

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

The loans that came under scrutiny were made to Mr. Trump by a New York City-based real estate investment trust, Ladder Capital. Beginning in 2012, Ladder Capital has lent the former president more than $280 million for the four Manhattan buildings, according to property records.

Read More: Trump’s $287M loans that he did not pay were forgiven

The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. has said in court filings that it is pursuing a complex investigation into alleged insurance and bank fraud by the Trump Organization and its officers. However, Mr. Trump has called the probe a partisan “witch hunt” led by Mr. Vance, a Democrat.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers have scoffed at the investigation, calling it a “fishing expedition” in Mr. Vance’s effort to get the former president’s tax returns.

The focus of the prosecutors’ interest in Mr. Trump’s properties and loans is unclear, but legal experts have speculated that they could be looking for discrepancies between loan documents and financial information submitted by Mr. Trump on tax returns or submitted to an insurance company. Experts assert that writing false information on a loan application with the intention of getting financial benefits one isn’t entitled to can be a crime under New York law.

Read More: NY AG Letitia James preparing ‘long list’ of Trump initiatives to undo

The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James has said it is conducting a separate civil-fraud investigation into properties including 40 Wall St. and the Seven Springs estate. The Trump Organization has said that the investigation of Ms. James, a Democrat, is also motivated by politics.

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