The entrance to Trump Tower on 5th Avenue is pictured in the New York City borough of Manhattan, May 19, 2021.
Shannon Stapleton | Reuters
gian commercial real estate servicesCushman & Wakefield on Wednesday he appealed a judge’s order to comply with subpoenas issued by the New York attorney general’s office seeking documents related to his appraisals of the former president’s properties. donald trumpthe company
Cushman & Wakefield argued that complying with the subpoena for tens of thousands of pages of documents would compromise the confidential information of nearly 1,000 of its clients who have no connection to the Trump Organization, or the properties Attorney General Letitia James is investigating in her civil lawsuit. . Trump investigation.
Cushman also filed in court an affidavit from an independent appraisal consultant that wrote that the documents requested by James’ office “will not provide a reliable basis for evaluating or criticizing appraisals” of Trump properties already in Trump’s possession. attorney general.
“As we file this appeal out of an obligation to protect our clients’ privacy and preserve the integrity of our client relationships, we look forward to continuing to work with the Office of the Attorney General and look forward to a speedy and successful conclusion to the investigation.” “, the company said in a statement.
And the firm said, “Cushman’s appraisers did nothing wrong, and Cushman stands behind its appraisers and their appraisals.”
James is investigating the Trump Organization for claims that the company illegally manipulated declared valuations of real estate assets to obtain more favorable financial terms on loans, insurance policies and taxes related to those properties.
Last month, the attorney general’s office said Cushman had refused to comply with subpoenas for information related to appraisals of three Trump-owned properties: Seven Springs Estate, Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles and 40 Wall Street. “and information about Cushman’s broader business relationship with the Trump Organization.”
James’ office said evidence shows the Trump Organization submitted “fraudulent or misleading informational valuations of conservation easements to the Internal Revenue Service” related to the first two of those properties.
And the bureau said Cushman had issued three appraisals to Capital One Bank related to 40 Wall Street in Manhattan that valued that property between $200 million and $220 million between 2010 and 2012, before issuing an appraisal to Ladder Capital Finance LLC in 2015 that valued the same building at $550 million.
That latest appraisal was used by the Trump Organization to secure a loan from Ladder Capital, which employs the son of Allen Weisselberg, the Trump company’s chief financial officer.
On April 25, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron ordered Cushman to comply with James’ subpoenas and gave them until the end of May to serve the documents.
The order came hours after Engoron personally held Trump in contempt of court for failing to comply with another subpoena from James for business documents she believed were in her possession.
Engoron lifted that contempt finding on Wednesday on the condition that Trump pay James a $110,000 fine and provide additional information about the searches for the documents that Triumph claim (it is He does not have.
Cushman on Wednesday asked Engoron to reconsider its decision to uphold the subpoenas directed at the company. Engoron quickly denied that request, calling it “baseless” and “merely a repetition of issues duly decided by this court in a previous opinion.”
Cushman said in court papers related to his appeal Wednesday that last September his attorneys met virtually with officials from James’ office to offer company-prepared evaluations for the Trump Organization at Seven Springs, Trump National Golf Club-Los Angeles and 40 Wall St. In January, Cushman agreed to “confer” with James’ office “to address issues raised by [the attorney general’s team] during the September meeting.
Cushman also said the attorney general’s office confirmed in writing that Cushman’s presentation of the Trump-related materials “constituted confidential settlement discussions.”
The company said James’ office “broke promises to Cushmanorth,” when he asked Engoron to uphold subpoenas issued to Cushman for other documents, by including information obtained from Cushman at the January meeting.
Cushman “was promised and expected” that the material would be treated confidentially, the company said in a statement.
A spokesperson for James said, in a statement to CNBC: “The court has clearly ruled that Cushman & Wakefield must comply with our subpoenas and turn over information that is relevant to our investigation into Donald Trump and the Trump Organization, and has summarily rejected their attempt to seek today the reconsideration of these rulings”.
“While they have the right to appeal, we have the right to continue this investigation and seek answers,” the spokesman said.