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How Mar-a-Lago figures into New York AG Letitia James' lawsuit against Donald Trump, his business, and his children

Added 09-21-22 04:14:03pm EST - “New York Attorney General Letitia James said Trump overvalued Mar-a-Lago ten-fold, to as high as $739 million, in a fraud scheme.” - Businessinsider.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Businessinsider.com: “How Mar-a-Lago figures into New York AG Letitia James' lawsuit against Donald Trump, his business, and his children”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

For the past month, Mar-a-Lago has dominated the headlines amid a high-stakes dispute between the Justice Department and former President Donald Trump over a criminal investigation into government records once stored at his South Florida home.

On Wednesday, the West Palm Beach estate came into play once more on a separate, newly perilous front in the former president's legal battles.

In a wide-ranging lawsuit, the New York attorney general's office accused Trump, his three eldest children, and namesake business of vastly overstating their assets as part of a years-long fraud scheme. Invoking the title of Trump's 1987 memoir and business-advice book, Attorney General Letitia James said: "Claiming to have money that you do not have does not amount to the art of the deal; it's the art of the steal."

In financial statements, James said, Trump "blatantly ignored legal restrictions" on the use of his Mar-a-Lago property that materially affected its value. Trump valued his South Florida estate "on the false premise that it sat on unrestricted property and could be developed for residential use," she said.

But James alleged that Trump knew Mar-a-Lago was subject to "onerous" restrictions, having personally signed deeds "sharply restricting" changes to the property. Trump also donated his residential development rights in an effort to receive a tax deduction and lower his property taxes, she said.

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