Letitia James Presses Cushman & Wakefield for Information on Trump Organization
New York Attorney General Letitia James asked a judge to force Cushman & Wakefield (CWK) to provide information on appraisals and brokerage services provided to the Trump Organization’s real estate dealings as part of her civil litigation against the former president’s firm.
James accuses C&W of refusing to comply with subpoenas demanding information on brokerage services pertaining to 40 Wall Street in Manhattan, Seven Springs Estate in Westchester, N.Y., and Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles. Last Friday, her office filed a motion to compel with the New York Supreme Court.
“Cushman & Wakefield’s work for the Trump Organization is significant to our ongoing investigation into Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization’s financial practices,” James said in a statement. “There should be no doubt that information about Cushman’s appraisal work for the Trump Organization is relevant to our efforts and that Cushman — like any other party — cannot defy a lawful subpoena because no one is above the law.”
James’ subpoena for C&W is part of a larger inquiry into whether or not the Trump Organization has mischaracterized the value of the assets in its portfolio, something representatives for the family have previously said was politically motivated.
“Any suggestion that Cushman & Wakefield has not responded in good faith to the attorney general’s investigation is fundamentally untrue,” a C&W spokesperson said in a statement. “The attorney general’s filings do not accurately depict Cushman & Wakefield’s responses to prior subpoenas and inquiries. We stand behind our appraisers and our work.”
At Seven Springs, specifically, the Trump family increased the value of the property from $80 million to $200 million from 2004 to 2007, then up to $291 million in 2012, according to James’ office. Two separate appraisers valued the property at $56 million, the AG’s office previously claimed.
The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
James also requested backup from the courts to prompt testimony from the Trump Organization in January, hoping tax submissions and financial statements used to obtain loans would corroborate previous testimony hinting at “misleading statements and omissions” and “significant evidence” of potential fraud at the company.
Trump has taken the offensive against James by launching a December 2021 countersuit that accused her of using her office to attack political adversaries with the hopes judges would halt or rein in the attorney general’s probe.
While Trump and his organization have not been officially charged of wrongdoing, the Manhattan district attorney’s office previously indicted the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, Allan Weisselberg, for allegedly evading taxes on a total of $1.8 million in perks from the company. The DA is also reportedly weighing charges against Trump COO Matthew Calamari for allegedly benefitting from a tax evasion scheme.
Mark Hallum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.