Trump, NY Attorney General Recommends Financial Monitors for Trump Organization


NEW YORK — Donald Trump and New York Attorney General Leticia James, who is filing a massive civil fraud case against the former president and his business empire, disagree on almost everything on the matter.

But both sides on Thursday recommended the same former federal judge as one of their proposed nominees to the monitor who has ordered a New York state court judge to oversee the Trump organization’s financial decisions.

Barbara Jones was a judge in the Southern District of New York, presiding over accounting and securities fraud cases, as well as antitrust and racketeering litigation. Now a partner at Bracewel LLP, she has focused her work on monitorships.

She was the special master appointed to oversee whether the data the FBI seized from former Trump attorney Michael Cohen was protected by attorney-client privilege. She was also appointed to oversee Charter Communications’ compliance with the Federal Communications Commission requirements when the company acquired Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in 2016.

Former President Donald Trump gestures as he leaves Trump Tower, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in New York, en route to the New York Attorney General’s office for a statement in a civil investigation. (TBEN Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

The recommendations stem from the ruling of Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron last week after the state attorney general sought a financial monitor for the Trump organization. Despite arguments from Trump attorneys, Engoron ruled that a monitor was warranted to ensure Trump’s companies are not shifting financial assets in an effort to avoid the maximum $250 million fine that could be imposed if the attorney’s office General has the upper hand in the civil lawsuit.

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The lawsuit alleges that Trump, his companies and his three oldest children were part of a 10-year plan that “grossly inflated” the former president’s personal wealth by billions of dollars, then used the higher values ​​to negotiate more favorable loan terms. get from lenders.

The alleged actions violated New York law and likely saved Trump, his company and his family more than $150 million from 2011-2021, the complaint states.

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Trump’s attorneys argue that there was no error because the companies made all refunds on time, as the lenders received millions of dollars in fees and never complained about the transactions.

In addition to Jones, James’ monitorship recommendations include Aaron Marcu, a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, and Frances McLeod, a founder of Forensic Risk Alliance.

Marcu represents Volkswagen in the auto giant’s resolution on criminal and regulatory investigations arising from diesel emissions from the company’s vehicles.

McLeod is currently a Department of Justice appointed monitor for two cases. One is Balfour Beatty Communities LLC, a housing corporation privatized by the US military that pleaded guilty to a fraud scheme. The other concerns FCA US LLC, a car company that pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the US Labor Management Relations Act.

Trump’s attorneys have recommended an additional monitor candidate, Kelly Donovan, the director of forensics at KPMG LLP, an accounting and professional services giant. She worked in the New York Attorney General’s office before James’ tenure there.

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Engoron is expected to name the monitor next week after opposing legal teams have had an opportunity to comment on each other’s recommendations.

However, Trump’s legal team is continuing its fight to overturn Engoron’s decision to appoint a monitor, a move it believes could seriously undermine the Trump organization’s operations. Last week, it characterized the decision as a nationalization of the company.

Trump appealed the ruling to the First Department of the New York State Appellate Division, a medium-sized appeals court. In a ruling on Wednesday, Associate Justice Angela M. Mazzarelli denied Trump’s request to prevent Engoron’s decision from taking effect, while the appeals considered overturning the ruling entirely.

Instead, Mazzarelli said Trump’s appeal would be heard by a full court on an accelerated basis later this month.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump, NY AG recommends choices for the Trump Organization’s financial monitor