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New York real estate firm that appraises Trump properties is held in CONTEMPT and will be fined $10,000 a day until it turns over documents in investigation into ‘inflated’ prices
- Judge Arthur Ergoron announced the fine in a blistering order of contempt
- Said the firm Cushman & Wakefield engaged in ‘willful’ noncompliance and had ‘only itself to blame’
- NY State AG Letitia James subpoenaed trove of documents to try to uncover how Trump properties were valued as compared to others
A New York judge has ordered the real estate firm of Cushman & Wakefield to pay $10,000 a day until it turns over documents related to a probe of whether the Trump organization inflated real estate valuations for financial purposes.
Judge Arthur Engoron slapped the company with the contempt finding that says the court was ‘incredulous’ the firm didn’t seek an extension until after a court-imposed deadline had passed.
The fines take effect July 7th and accrue daily, after Judge Engoron found the company had engaged in ‘willful ‘non-compliance’ and has ‘only itself to blame if it chose to treat the looming [document] deadlines cavalierly’ after it blew through a June 29 deadline.
A New York judge has ordered Cushman & Wakefield to hand over information on property valuations or face fines. The firm provided assessments for Trump Organization properties that state AG Letitia James says were inflated. Pictured is Trump’s Seven Springs estate in Bedrod, New York
New York Attorney General Letitia James had subpoenaed the documents back in September 2021 and again in February of 2022, in a probe of whether the former president’s company boosted the value of its real estate holdings when seeking financing, then low-balled values at tax time.
Trump has denied wrongdoing and called the probe a witch hunt.
The judge said in his order he was ‘is incredulous as to why Cushman & Wakefield would wait until two days after the court-ordered deadline had lapsed to initiate the process of asking for yet another extension.’
James said the company turned in higher valuations when seeking financing
Trump has repeatedly attacked AG James and called her probe a witch hunt
The judge’s order imposes fines of $10,000 per day
The order said the court was ‘incredulous’ at the company’s response
The firm’s latest motion ‘fails to identify any good cause for filing its motion after its time to comply had already lapsed.’
Its motion also fails on the merits, the judge said, and the firm failed to demonstrate ‘good cause’ – citing case law that a litigant ‘cannot ignore court orders with impunity,’ even while acknowledging the subpoenas cover an ‘enormous number of documents.’
The subpoena covers not just Trump properties but ‘comps,’ so that the court can try to discern how it stacks up against other properties.
The trial continues to progress, even as Trump signals he could make an early announcement on a potential presidential 2024 campaign.
The case has also featured a subpoena battle over the president’s children Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. over their testimony. Both are scheduled to testify later this month.
Eric Trump gave a deposition in January, and according to James’ office invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 500 times.
There is ‘significant evidence’ the Trump Organization relied on misleading financial statements to ‘secure economic benefits’ like tax breaks and loans James’ office said in March.