Wednesday, April 17

Donald Trump’s accountants quit — in the midst of preparing his and Melania’s taxes — after questioning ‘discrepancies’

Former President Donald Trump

Then-President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on Thanksgiving on November 26, 2020 in Washington, DC.Erin Schaff/Getty Images

  • Donald Trump’s accountants quit in the middle of preparing his and Melania’s taxes after questioning ‘discrepancies’.

  • Mazars USA told The Trump Organization that it has halted its relationship with him, court papers say.

  • The company is distancing itself from key evidence in a criminal probe into alleged financial fraud.

Donald Trump’s longtime accountants have suddenly severed all ties with the former president and his business — quitting even though they are in the midst of preparing his and Melania’s tax returns.

In a letter made public Monday by the New York Attorney General Letitia James, the accounting firm, Mazars USA, told The Trump Organization’s top corporate lawyer it has stepped away from Trump and his business due to questions about the reliability of key company financial statements.

News of Mazar USA’s stunning move surfaced in papers filed Monday by James, as part of New York prosecutors’ ongoing probe into possible banking, insurance and tax fraud on the part of Trump and his business.

Since at least 2004, Mazars has prepared annual financial statements — so-called “Statements of Financial Condition” — containing detailed estimates of Trump’s net worth.

Trump has used these statements to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and insurance over the years.

In court documents filed over the past two years, James has alleged that Trump has exaggerated his worth when trying to impress bankers, and downplayed his worth when seeking lower taxes.

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“Last week, after review of [the AG office’s] filings, Donald J. Trump’s and the Trump Organization’s former accounting firm informed the Trump Organization that the Statements of Financial Condition from 2011 through 2020 should no longer be relied upon,” James wrote in papers filed Monday.

James filed the papers in Manhattan Supreme Court, as part of a civil lawsuit seeking to compel Trump, his daughter Ivanka, and his son Donald, Jr., to comply with subpoenas from her office requiring their documents and testimony.

As part of her filing, James included a copy of the letter Mazars sent to Alan Garten, chief legal officer of The Trump Organization.

In the letter, Mazars’ top attorney William J. Kelly tells Garten that after speaking with the AG’s office, and after their own investigation, they realize the accountant firm can no longer represent the former president or his business.

“The Statements of Financial Condition for Donald J. Trump for the years ending June 30, 2011 – June 30, 2020 should no longer be relied upon,” the letter read.

“We have come to this conclusion based, in part, upon the filings made by the New York Attorney General on January 18, 2022, our own investigation, and information received from internal and external sources,” the letter continued.

“While we have not concluded that the various financial statements, as a whole, contain material discrepancies, based upon the totality of the circumstances, we believe our advice to you to no longer rely upon those financial statements is appropriate.”

The Mazars’ lawyer went on to say that continuing to do accounting work for The Trump Organization would be “a non-waivable conflict of interest” — suggesting that Mazars is weighing its own potential criminal liability.

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“As a result, we are not able to provide any new work product to the Trump Organization,” the letter continued, adding that the Trumps’ tax returns are among the “limited number” that still remain to be filed.

Garten did not immediately respond to a request for comment; neither did attorneys for Trump and Mazars.

Read the original article on Insider

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