Now that she has concrete evidence that Donald Trump and the Trump Organization have been engaged in systematic financial fraud, New York Attorney General Letitia James may be on the verge of imposing the legal “death penalty” on the ex-president’s corporation, according to a former U.S. Attorney.
Joyce Vance, who served as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama from 2009 to 2017, was a guest on MSNBC, and she was asked by host Chris Jansing about news that Trump’s former accounting firm, Mazars, has dropped him as a client and declared that his financial statements cannot be trusted:
“It absolutely doesn’t, Chris, and one of the intriguing issues here is how did New York’s attorney general come into possession of this letter, which was sent from Trump’s accountant to the Trump Organization? She’s not cc’d on the letter; your accounting firm doesn’t typically send business correspondence to the attorney general in your state.”
“So there’s a suggestion here that Mazars is engaged with the New York attorney general. This whole issue came up as [NY AG] Letitia James was trying to take the depositions of Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump, and she’s been forced to justify that position by the Trump folks in the course of that litigation and this document has come out now.”
And then Vance explained how AG James can put a quick end to the Trump Organization:
“Details of other transactions that are highly questionable, and that may be sharp business practices or fraud, but James is likely to get her depositions, and she, of course, has jurisdiction under New York’s Martin Act to protect New York from sharp business practices. she has the authority to curtail businesses’ ability to operate, and even as she did with Trump’s charitable fund, to no longer permit them to operate in the state of New York. So the consequences here, just on the civil side, could be dramatic. The criminal investigation will proceed at its own pace.”
What is the Martin Act? It’s a piece of legislation passed in 1921 that is considered to be the “most severe blue sky law” in the country:
The Martin Act, as interpreted by New York courts, gives the New York State Attorney General exceptionally broad enforcement authority to bring both civil and criminal action without a showing of scienter or intent to defraud.
One of the penalties under the Martin Act is the complete shutdown of a business and forfeiture of its assets. That’s why it’s considered a legal “death penalty” if imposed.
Here’s hoping Letitia James does indeed shut down Trump Org. and then proceed to lock up every member of the company who was involved in this widespread fraud.