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New York state probe of Trump Organization is now criminal -attorney general

Former US president Donald Trump embraces the US flag after speaking to the 47th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in 2020. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Erik S. Lesser)

NEW YORK, May 18 (Reuters) - The New York state attorney general's office said on Tuesday it has told the Trump Organization its investigation of the company run by former President Donald Trump is now a criminal probe, not purely civil.

 

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat, has been investigating Trump’s pre-presidency business dealings for more than two years.

“We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organization is no longer purely civil in nature,” spokesman Fabien Levy said in a statement. “We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA,” he said.

The Trump Organization could not immediately be reached for comment.

Vance’s office has said in court filings it was investigating “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct” at the former president’s Trump Organization, including tax and insurance fraud and falsification of business records.

Vance’s probe began after Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen paid hush money to silence two women before the 2016 election about claimed sexual encounters with Trump.

That probe has accelerated since Republican Trump lost his bid for a second term to President Joe Biden, a Democrat.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James, also a Democrat, is leading a separate criminal probe into whether Trump’s company falsely reported property values to secure loans and obtain economic and tax benefits. (Reporting by Jan Wolfe; additional reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Tom Hogue and Lincoln Feast.)

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