$250 million lawsuit against Donald Trump is the beginning, not end, of this case

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What you need to know about the lawsuit alleging that the former president and his family committed fraud by overvaluing their properties.

New York Attorney General Letitia James hit former president Donald Trump with a $250 million lawsuit on Sept. 21, citing “staggering” amounts of falsified business information and fraud.

The civil lawsuit alleges that Trump, his company—the Trump Organization—and three of his children lied to lenders and insurers about billions of dollars’ worth of assets. This follows a three-year investigation into Trump’s New York-based real estate business.

Lukas I. Alpert: Exaggerations, overvaluations and out-and-out lies: the 6 most egregious examples of Donald Trump’s alleged inflation of his wealth

The Conversation spoke with Bridget J. Crawford, an expert on tax and property law at Pace University, to help navigate the various dimensions and the potentially broader, criminal implications of this lawsuit.

What are Trump and his children accused of in the lawsuit?

The complaint is over 200 pages long and contains many specific claims. But, at its heart, the complaint says the Trump Organization made false financial or business statements in order to get loans or to keep those loans on favorable terms, in a way that was dishonest or fraudulent.

Trump didn’t allegedly overestimate the cost of buildings, which is a technical term, but rather he is accused of inflating the value of certain businesses and properties.

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