Mazars USA, the long-time accountant of Donald Trump’s family business, has cut ties with the Trump Organization and indicated that a decade of financial statements could “no longer be relied upon.”
The accounting and consulting firm in a February 9 letter to the Trump Organization said it could no longer stand behind statements it prepared for Trump between 2011 and 2020. Mazars said it compiled the statements of financial condition based on information provided by the former president and his company in “accordance with professional standards.”
Those financial statements have been at the center of a two ongoing investigations into Trump’s business dealings: a criminal inquiry by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and a civil inquiry by the New York Attorney General. The investigations have been probing whether the Trump Organization used fraudulent or misleading asset valuations to obtain loans, insurance, and tax breaks.
The Mazars letter was revealed in court documents filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James on Monday. Trump has characterized the two investigations as politically motivated and has referred to James’ investigation as a “hoax.”
Mazars wrote the findings of James’ investigation contributed to the conclusion its statements were no longer reliable. The letter was also informed by the results of its own investigations and information received from “internal and external sources.”
James in a court filing last month highlighted potential misleading statements that inflated the value of several properties, including golf clubs in New York and Scotland and the former president’s penthouse suite in Trump Tower. According to the filing, Trump claimed the apartment was 30,000 square feet and was worth $327 million. The apartment was actually 10,996 square feet and Allen Weisselberg, CFO of Trump Organization, later admitted to investigators that the company overvalued the apartment by approximately $200 million.
The Mazars revelation is unlikely to serve as a slam dunk for either investigation. The financial condition statements incorporate various standard disclaimers, such as that Mazars did not audit or authenticate Trump’s claims.
According to a New York Times report, Trump’s lawyers are likely to argue that sophisticated institutions like Deutsche Bank would not have relied on statements when providing him with loans.