The 115-page supplemental documents and narrative submitted by New York Attorney General Letitia James outline two instances of possible tax fraud by the Trump Organization as part of an extensive investigation into the company's financial documents.
According to the filings, there were two cases in which former President Donald Trump's company misled the IRS
“Evidence indicates that the Trump Organization also submitted fraudulent or misleading valuations to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), specifically related to the Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles and Seven Springs," the introduction reads.
It cites Dec. 26, 2014, when two Trump Organization properties donated a "conservation easement" to use as a driving range for the Trump National Golf Course — Los Angeles (Trump Golf LA).
"The donation meant foregoing the right to build 16 residential lots in the driving range’s location but did not preclude the Trump Organization from continuing to use the site as a driving range," the AG filing explained. "In a process quarterbacked by Mr. Trump’s tax counsel, Sheri Dillon, two Cushman appraisers found that the development value donated was $25 million dollars. Mr. Trump submitted this valuation to the Internal Revenue Service to obtain a tax benefit."
The appraisal overstated the value of the donation, particularly when it came to the speed that it could be developed and "failing to value a reduction in affordable housing requirements that the donation enabled."
The report goes on to say that the appraisers at Cushman misstated the value due to "an atmosphere of pressure applied to them by the Trump Organization— which one appraiser said was 'fighting for every $1.'"
The site was reportedly unstable and the proximity to the Pacific Coast meant that it had to be approved for development by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. The geologist who looked at the site said that it would need improvements before it could be developed.
"This presented a particular hurdle for 16 planned lots on the driving range and putting green: In June 2011, the Trump Organization’s geologist produced a report stating that 104 'shear pins,' stabilizing implements drilled into the ground to provide engineering stability, would be required to develop the lots safely," the case says.
The filing explained that donating a "conservation easement over the 16 proposed lots would allow it to continue to use the area as a driving range and putting green."
That began a long back and forth detailed in seven pages that point to the Trump Org's efforts to make more out of less.
"The Trump Organization involving misstatements to counterparties, including financial institutions, and the Internal Revenue Service," said the filing. "The Trump Organization has responded to OAG’s document and testimonial subpoenas, producing more than 930,000 documents. Although approximately a dozen current and former Trump Organization employees have testified before OAG, and Mr. Trump personally authorized the production of federal income tax information to OAG, Mr. Trump himself has declined to comply with OAG subpoenas for documents and testimony, moving to quash the subpoenas in this proceeding and (along with the Trump Organization) seeking to enjoin this investigation in its entirety in a recently-filed action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York. Mr. Trump should be compelled by this Court to testify before OAG and produce to OAG relevant documents in his possession, custody, or control."