Prosecutors advance in Trump tax investigation

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With tax announcements in hand by former US President Donald Trump, a team of New York prosecutors are holding new sub-delegates and face-to-face meetings with key witnesses in a close examination of Trump’s business practices.

Amidst the tornado of activity, the Manhattan district attorney’s office is expected to meet again on Friday with Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

This will be the eighth time Cohen has spoken to investigators who prosecutor Cyrus R. Vance works for Junior, ever since the lawyer was arrested for tax evasion and violation of campaign funds.

In a recent interview with Cohen, investigators asked questions about Seven Springs, Trump’s property. They investigate whether the value of the 86-hectare property is essentially inflated to reduce the former president’s taxes.

Investigators asked Cohen about the individuals involved in the property valuation and the benefits derived from that assessment, which included an income tax deduction of $ 21 million.

Cohen was released for house arrest last year amid concerns about the Cohenowire epidemic. Their last meetings were conducted by videoconference.

Vance announced last week that he would step down at the end of the year and that he would not seek re-election, but in a statement to his office, he said the investigation would not be closed.

He recently hired a former prosecutor with experience in anti-mafia cases, with Mark Pomerantz as a special assistant prosecutor to assist in the investigation of Trump’s finances.

According to court records, the investigation is an investigation into whether Trump or his businesses lied about the value of their assets to obtain favorable loan terms and tax benefits. Prosecutors are also investigating suspected payments made to women on Trump’s behalf.

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After a lengthy legal battle, prosecutors are in possession of an eight-year-old Trump tax return, including the final version and drafts, documents containing raw financial data, and other financial records maintained by the former president’s accounting firm.

Vance’s focus on Seven Springs includes an environmental protection agreement by Trump in exchange for a tax rebate in late 2015, following unsuccessful attempts to convert the property into a golf course with luxury homes. The former president gave a grant to the Land Conservation Fund for the conservation of 60 hectares of land and received a rebate of US $ 21 million, equal to the value of the protected land, according to the records.

The value was much higher than the assessment of local government advisors, who valued the entire property at $ 20 million.

Vance’s office has sent new bedpones to local governments in recent weeks to cover the property – Bedford, North Castle and New Castle – after an initial round of subpoenas issued in mid-December. Prosecutors also removed people working on projects to develop Trump’s assets.

Sarah Gracie

About the author: Sarah Gracie

Sarahis a reporter covering Amazon. She previously covered tech and transportation, and she broke stories on Uber's finances, self-driving car program, and cultural crisis. Before that, she covered cybersecurity in finance. Sarah's work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Politico, and the Houston Chronicle.

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