Tuesday, December 29, 2020

NY Prosecutor Hires Forensic Accounting Experts as Trump Criminal Probe Escalates

The New York's Manhattan District Attorney's Office has Retained Forensic Accounting Specialists to Aid its Criminal Investigation of Trump and his Business Operations, as Prosecutors Ramp-Up their Scrutiny of his Company's Real Estate Transactions.

District Attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., opened the Investigation in 2018 to Examine alleged Hush-Money Payments made in 2016 to Two women who, during Trump’s First Presidential Campaign, claimed to have had Affairs with him years earliers. That Probe has since Expanded, and now includes the Trump Organization's Activities more broadly.

Vance has Contracted with FTI Consulting to look for Anomalies among a Variety of Property Deals, and to Advise the District Attorney on whether Trump's company Manipulated the Value of certain Assets to obtain Favorable Interest Rates and Properrty Tax Breaks. The Probe is believed to encompass Transactions spanning Several years.

Headquartered in Washington, FTI provides a range of Financial Advisory Services to Clients Worldwide in Public and Corporate Sectors. “We provide the industry's most complete range of forensic, investigative, data analytic and litigation services,” according to a Corporate Brochure, which also noted FTI’s “extensive experience serving leading corporations, governments and law firms around the globe.”

The Analysts hired by Vance probably have already Reviewed various Bank and Mortgage Records obtained from Trump’s Company as part of the ongoing Grand Jury Investigation, and they could be called on to Testify about their Findings should the District Attorney eventually bring Criminal Charges.

Vance is engaged in a long-running Legal Battle to obtain Eight years of Trump’s Tax Records and other Financial Information from the trump's Accounting Firm, Mazars USA. Those Records are considered the Final Piece of what is already a well-developed Investigation.

In July, the U.S. Supreme Court Rejected Trump’s Argument that, as President, he is Immune from State Court Proceedings. Since then, he has argued that the Subpoena for his Financial Information is Deficient, Amounts to Political “harassment”, and was issued in “bad faith.”

Though Lower Courts have Rejected those Arguments as well, the matter is once again before the Supreme Court. Trump has Requested a Stay, or a Suspension of the Proceedings, in his Fight with Vance. If the President’s Request is Denied, the District Attorney’s Office should get immediate Access to his Tax Records.

Jason Zirkle, with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, said that in addition to FTI's Specialized Services, Vance, who is a Democrat, may be hoping that the Inclusion of an Outside Firm will offer a veneer of Neutrality and help Deflect Criticism that his Probe is Politically Motivated.

In Trump, “you have a very high-profile person who is polarizing,” Zirkle said, “and then you also have a district attorney who is elected. You can't ignore those facts, and that they're both of different political parties.” Vance can now say, “We've gotten with a global advisory firm . . . that can come in and take an objective look at this, and we're outsourcing everything to them in the way of the analysis so that it doesn't look like we're just going after Donald Trump,” Zirkle added.

It is possible Vance could find Evidence that the Trump Organization as a Business Entity has Broken the Law, without attaching Personal Liability to Trump or other Individuals at his Company. To bring Criminal Charges, the District Attorney must be able to Prove there was an Intent to Break the Law, which probably would Require the Testimony of an Insider Witness, Experts have said.

It's unclear whether Vance has Secured such Testimony, though in recent weeks his Team has spoken with Employees at Deutsche Bank, a Major Lender for the Trump Organization, and the Insurance Brokerage Aon. Prosecutors have issued New Subpoenas and Met with Witnesses at a steady pace, People familiar with the Process.

A spokeswoman for Aon, Nadine Youssef, Confirmed that the Insurance Company received a Subpoena from the District Attorney's Office but declined to Discuss what Records had been Requested. “As is our policy, we intend to cooperate with all regulatory bodies,” Youssef said. “We do not comment on specific client matters.”

Vance’s Probe is One of Two Investigations in New York that could pose serious Legal Peril for the President once he leaves Office on Jan. 20th, 2021. New York Attorney General, Letitia James, is overseeing a Civil Investigation into the Trump Organization and its Business Operations. There appears to be at least some Overlap in the Deals and Loans that are under Review by the Two Agencies.

Additionally, the President faces Separate Defamation Lawsuits brought by Two Women who have Accused him of Sexual Assault.

His Niece, Mary L. Trump, is Suing him and his Siblings as well over a Multimillion-Dollar Inheritance Dispute.

He's also being Sued by the Tenants of Several Apartment Buildings his Family once Owned.

In a North Carolina Court Case, Investors say they saw Little to No Profit after joining a North Carolina Multilevel Marketing Organization, touted by Trump and his Children, who were Receiving Compensation, without the Investor's knowledge.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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