Judge Appoints Independent Monitor to Oversee Trump Org Financial Reporting in NY AG Fraud Suit

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In response to an ongoing investigation by the New York Attorney General’s Office, the judge overseeing the Trump Organization has appointed an independent monitor to oversee the organization’s financial reporting and other data collection. The attorney general’s office filed the suit back in June, claiming that President Donald Trump had violated both federal and state law by retaining ownership of his businesses while serving as president. The appointment of an independent monitor will allow the court to continue pursuing its investigation into whether or not Trump and his family were unduly benefiting financially from their ties to the White House.

As part of a lawsuit claiming massive fraud by the former president Donald Trump, his businesses, and his family members, a New York court on Monday assigned retired Judge Barbara Jones to examine parts of the Trump Organization’s financial records.

Jones had been endorsed as their preferred choice to act as the case’s impartial monitor by both Trump and New York Attorney General Letitia James, who had brought the broad fraud lawsuit in September.

Jones, who retired from her position as a federal judge in early 2013, has since been embroiled in a number of legal disputes involving Trump. She was designated a “special master” in 2018 to locate possible attorney-client privilege claims in the massive collection of documents that had been confiscated as part of the criminal investigation into Michael Cohen, who was at the time Trump’s personal attorney.

Jones was chosen to act as special master last year to examine documents seized from Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City who had also served as Trump’s personal attorney.

When CNBC contacted Trump’s attorneys for comment about the appointment in James’ case, they did not react right away.

Justice Arthur Engoron of the New York Supreme Court had earlier this month granted James’ request to designate a third party organisation to monitor various Trump Org financial statements and other information.

The monitor will also make sure that the corporation complies with Engoron’s decision prohibiting it from transferring any recent non-cash assets without first notifying the court. The Trump Organization looks to be attempting to circumvent New York regulations by reorganising its operations outside of the state, James had cautioned the judge. She pointed out that the day the case was filed, the Trump Organization created a new business named Trump Organization II.

The AG’s request for the watchdog had been challenged by Trump’s legal team, who described it as a “politically driven attempt to nationalise a highly successful private organisation.”

However, Engoron declared those allegations to be “totally without merit.” He said that Trump’s legal staff was confusing the roles of a monitor and a receiver, who would “in effect, take control of the entire corporation.”

In addition to financial statements, statements of financial condition, asset value disclosures, and other disclosures to lenders, insurers, and other financial institutions, the judgement directed the defendants to give the monitor these documents.

Additionally, he mandated that within two weeks of her appointment, they provide the monitor with “a thorough and accurate account of the structure and liquid or illiquid holdings and assets of the Trump Organization, its subsidiaries, and all other affiliates.”

Engoron noted in his ruling from Monday afternoon that Jones had said she would accept the appointment in a previous phone contact.

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