The massive lawsuit facing former U.S. President Donald Trump, three of his adult children and his family company brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James alleges large-scale fraud going back a decade.

Here's a look at the civil case and what it means for Trump.


James accused Trump and the Trump organization of fraudulently misstating the values of numerous properties to obtain favorable loans and tax benefits.

"The complaint, which all of you should have a copy, is more than 280 pages long. It includes examples from 23 assets that were grossly and fraudulently inflated, and those inflated values were used on Mr. Trump's statements almost every year."

James said Trump pretended his Trump Tower apartment was 30,000 square feet, when it was actually closer 11,000 square feet.

She said the 2015 valuation of $327 million for that property was "absurd" because no New York City apartment had sold for $100 million at the time.

She also said Trump valued Mar-a-Lago as high as $739 million by pretending it could be developed for residential use, and that it should have been valued closer to $75 million.

JAMES: "The complaint demonstrates that Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and to cheat the system, thereby cheating all of us."

Here's Stewart Sterk, a professor at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law:

"Well inflating net worth and real estate values by itself doesn't get you a tax benefit. But as I understand it, some of the allegations here are that Trump took charitable deductions for property he gave away. And when you take a charitable deduction, the amount of the deduction is based on the value of what you gave away. So, if you inflate the value what you gave away, you're taking a bigger deduction and therefore reducing your tax bill."


The lawsuit seeks to have Trump and the other defendants give up $250 million in what she says were false financial gains.

James is also seeking to bar Trump and three of his children - Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump - from serving as directors of companies registered in New York...

and prevent them and their company from buying commercial real estate or getting bank loans in New York state for five years.

She is also seeking to appoint an independent monitor at the Trump Organization to oversee various aspects of its business for five years.

Trump, who is considering running again for president in 2024, is expected to contest the litigation. But David Reiss, a professor at Brooklyn Law School, sees another possibility...


"...He's been very effective at pushing final outcomes in his legal battles years down the road, and maybe that's a good enough strategy for him. That's possible. The other possibility, even though he doesn't say this on Twitter, is he may settle."

Following the news conference by James on Wednesday, Trump took to his social media network Truth Social to call the lawsuit "another Witch Hunt" and launch a personal attack on her integrity.

Trump appeared for an August deposition in the investigation and declined to answer more than 400 questions...

citing his protection against self-incrimination under the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment.

A lawyer for Trump on Thursday called the allegations "meritless."


James cannot bring criminal charges against Trump in this investigation because her probe was a civil one...

But she said she was sharing her findings with federal prosecutors in Manhattan as well as the Internal Revenue Service.

The Trump Organization has separately been charged with criminal tax fraud by the Manhattan District Attorney's office and is preparing for a scheduled Oct. 24 trial, though Trump himself has not been charged in that case.