A small town in New York has confirmed it received subpoenas for two different investigations into Donald Trump's golf course there.
The town has valued the Trump National Golf Club Westchester at about $15 million since 2016, but the former president's company has tried every year to list its value much lower — despite declaring on White House financial disclosures that the property was worth more than $50 million, reported The Daily Beast.
"At least one of them is false," said former prosecutor John Moscow, who worked 33 years at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. "This is a relatively clean way to prove these people lie to evade taxes and push the tax burden on honest taxpayers."
Federal, state and local investigators are each looking into those fluctuating valuations, and both New York Attorney General Letitia James and Westchester District Attorney Mimi Rocah have subpoenaed records from the Ossining town clerk's office.
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The Daily Beast obtained copies of the official complaints the Trump Organization filed against the town as it attempted to reduce its tax burden, including one challenge that valued the property at $7.5 million, less than half the town's assessed value of $15.1 million.
The operation's general manager signed off on a similar effort on Trump's 71st birthday, June 14, 2017, the exact same day the then-president signed an official government disclosure valuing the property at more than $50 million.
Donald Trump Jr. signed papers in 2018 claiming the golf club's value had dropped by $1 million, although his father continued to value the property at more than $50 million in forms submitted to the Office of Government Ethics, and Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg signed off on that $6.5 million valuation in 2019 and 2020.
Trump Organization sued Ossining last year, and the town agreed to a settlement that reduced $24.1 million from the golf course's value over a six-year period -- which essentially wiped out two years worth of taxes — and now Ossining, the local public school system, the village of Briarcliff Manor and Westchester County each owe the Trump family thousands of dollars in refunds.
The Trump Organization and its company officials are potentially exposed to New York corruption laws, but the twice-impeached one-term president could be personally implicated if he inflated the value of his assets on government disclosure forms.
"There will be an investigation into what the value really is, and whether they knowingly lied on the value," said government ethics attorney Melanie Sloan, a senior adviser to the independent watchdog group American Oversight. "If he deliberately filed false information with the OGE, that would violate the False Statement Act."