Attorney General James Takes Action to Force Cushman & Wakefield to Comply With Investigation into Donald J. Trump
Motion to Compel Filed After Cushman & Wakefield Refuses to Respond
to Subpoenas Related to Appraisal Work for the Trump Organization
New York Attorney General Letitia James today filed a motion to compel Cushman & Wakefield to comply with subpoenas related to her office’s ongoing civil investigation into Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization’s financial dealings. Cushman & Wakefield (Cushman) is a publicly traded, global real estate firm with billions of dollars in annual revenue that provided real estate services in connection with Trump Organization properties for many years. Those services included appraisals and brokerage services for properties that are relevant to the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) investigation.
Cushman has refused to comply with subpoenas for information related to its appraisals of three specific Trump-owned properties — the Seven Springs Estate, Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles, and 40 Wall Street — and information about Cushman’s larger business relationship with the Trump Organization. As outlined in the motion to compel filed in New York County State Supreme Court, Cushman’s refusal to comply is baseless, and OAG has taken action today to force its compliance.
“Cushman & Wakefield’s work for the Trump Organization is significant to our ongoing investigation into Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization’s financial practices,” said Attorney General James. “There should be no doubt that information about Cushman’s appraisal work for the Trump Organization is relevant to our efforts and that Cushman — like any other party — cannot defy a lawful subpoena because no one is above the law.”
40 Wall Street
Cushman issued multiple appraisals of 40 Wall Street in downtown Manhattan. Cushman issued three appraisals to Capital One Bank between 2010 and 2012, valuing the Trump Organization’s interest in the property between $200 million and $220 million. In 2015, that same Cushman team prepared another appraisal on the property for Ladder Capital Finance LLC, this time, valuing the building at $550 million. That appraisal was used by the Trump Organization to secure a loan. The OAG is seeking additional information related to these appraisals.
Seven Springs Estate and Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles
As outlined in a January 2022 filing by OAG, evidence indicates that the Trump Organization submitted fraudulent or misleading valuations of conservation easements to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), specifically related to Seven Springs (in Westchester County, NY) and Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles (in Los Angeles County, CA). Those valuations were used to obtain tax deductions and involved appraisals issued by Cushman. Through its subpoenas, OAG is seeking additional information from Cushman related to those appraisals.
The OAG’s papers filed today also describe other appraisals prepared by Cushman, brokerage services provided by Cushman to the Trump Organization, and other ties between the Trump Organization and Cushman personnel — further illustrating the connection between the matters that have been subpoenaed and OAG’s ongoing investigation.