A New York judge on Monday ordered former US President Donald Trump to pay $10,000 a day as long as he refuses to submit accounting and tax documents as part of a civil investigation with his group.
“This is a huge victory, a court has ruled in our favour, convicting Donald Trump of obstruction,” New York state attorney general, Democrat-elect Letitia James wrote on Twitter.
“Donald Trump has to pay $10,000 a day for every day he continues to defy a court order to deliver documents to my office,” said the attorney general, who has been investigating potential fraud in the Trump Organization’s tax practices for years.
On February 17, Letitia James summoned a New York judge to order billionaire Republicans and his two children, Donald Jr and Ivanka, to testify under oath in the course of this investigation. A decision appealed against by the Trump family.
But the court also requested before March 31 a full series of accounting and tax documents on the Trump Organization. Faced with a failure to respond, Letitia James hit back in the New York State Supreme Court, requesting that he be found responsible for “obstructing his refusal to comply with a court order.”
The New York attorney general suspects that the Trump Organization “fraudulently” overvalued real estate when applying for bank loans and undervalued it with tax authorities to pay lower taxes.
Parallel to this civil investigation, a separate criminal investigation is being opened in Manhattan into possible financial fraud within the Trump group.