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New York attorney general asks court to block Trump Organization from moving assets

N.Y. seeks to stop move of Trump Org. assets
N.Y. attorney general asks judge to stop Trump from moving assets to new company 03:49

New York State Attorney General Letitia James asked a judge Thursday for a preliminary injunction to prohibit the Trump Organization from transferring any assets without court approval, claiming the company "appears to be taking steps to restructure its business to avoid" liability in a massive lawsuit filed by James' office in September.

James' office said in Thursday's filing that the Trump Organization has "continued using practices they knew to be improper or fraudulent" since the lawsuit was filed September 21. The suit alleges a widespread effort to manipulate property valuations by former President Donald Trump, three of his children, and their eponymous company, and seeks $250 million and an end to the company's operations in the state. 

An attorney for Trump and the company called the filing "a thinly-veiled attempt to keep this case with Justice Engoron," the judge who oversaw proceedings related to the attorney general's investigation. Trump has sought to move the civil case to a different New York court.

"We have repeatedly provided assurance, in writing, that the Trump Organization has no intention of doing anything improper," said the attorney, Alina Habba. "This is simply another stunt which Ms. James hopes will aid her failing political campaign."

A recent Siena College poll put James, a Democrat running for re-election, about 16 percentage points ahead of her Republican rival. 

The attorney general's office wrote in its filing that the Trump Organization registered a new company with the state on the same day it was sued, called "Trump Organization II LLC." In Thursday's filing it asked a judge to appoint an independent monitor to oversee any new financial disclosures made by the Trump Organization to banks and insurers. The company is accused of falsifying asset valuations on more than 200 occasions. Trump and his company have repeatedly denied all allegations of wrongdoing.

James' office raised "concern that the Trump Organization may be seeking to move assets out of state," and asked counsel for "some assurance" that the company would provide "reasonable advance notice of asset transfers," according to the filing. 

"The Trump Organization offered no assurances," the attorney general's office wrote, adding that a lawyer for the company said it has not "taken steps to avoid the jurisdiction of the court or make it difficult to obtain relief against the corporate entities.'"

In its lawsuit, James' office is asking a judge to revoke the Trump Organization's business certificate, effectively barring it from doing business in New York. Her office is seeking to permanently bar Trump and his children named in the suit from serving as officer or director of any business entity in New York, including their family's company. It is also requesting a five-year ban on Trump and the company from acquiring real estate in New York or applying for loans from any New York-based company.

James has asked for a late 2023 trial date. 

Representatives for Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump did not immediately reply to a request for comment. 

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