At least Donald Trump and the Trump Organization have a couple months before Tax Day to find a new accountant, because the accounting firm for both has dumped them as clients, thanks in part to New York’s fraud investigation. The firm, Mazars USA, also said the financial statements it prepared on Trump and his business from 2011 to 2020 “should no longer be relied upon” by anyone.
The revelations came in a letter Mazars sent to the Trump Organization, which was filed in court by Attorney General Letitia James’s office on Monday, as part of an effort to compel Trump and two of his children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, to testify in the probe into whether the business engaged in bank and tax fraud by lying about the value of its assets. Mazars came to this conclusion based on its own investigation, information from “internal and external sources,” and the AG’s own public filings.
In January, the office alleged that Trump “overstated” the value of land donations made in New York and California to deduct millions from his tax burden, and exaggerated the value of his Trump Tower penthouse and his golf resorts in New York and Scotland. The office is also involved in a joint criminal inquiry with the Manhattan district attorney into alleged tax dodging and financial fraud.
The Trump Organization’s longtime accountant declaring its financial statements to be unreliable could aid the AG’s inquiry, but it is not a silver bullet. As the New York Times notes, though the statements may contain allegedly bogus estimates of Trump’s property values, “those same documents also include a number of disclaimers, including acknowledgments that Mr. Trump’s accountants had neither audited nor authenticated his claims.” James, however, hopes that the court will compel the Trumps to sit for an interview, as her office claims it is a “virtual certainty” that family members involved with the business have more information on the alleged fraudulent activity.