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Trump accounting firm cuts ties over unreliable statements

February 15, 2022

Accounting firm Mazars advised that financial statements it had prepared should not be used. Weeks earlier, New York Attorney General found evidence of "fraudulent or misleading" valuations of properties.

People walk past the Trump building in New York City; there is a pile of snow on the street
Mazars advised the Trump organization to inform anyone who has the documents not to use themImage: Ted Shaffrey/AP Photo/picture alliance

The accounting firm that prepared former US President Donald Trump's annual financial statements says the documents should no longer be relied upon, according to a letter made public on Monday.

Mazars USA LLP advised the Trump Organization to inform anyone who had got the documents not to use them when assessing the financial health of the company and Trump. The letter was made public in a court filing on Monday.

Weeks earlier, New York Attorney General Letitia James said her investigators uncovered evidence that Trump and his company used "fraudulent or misleading" valuations of properties including golf courses and skyscrapers to get loans and tax benefits.

James has not taken any legal action against Trump, but she contends that her investigation has turned up enough evidence to demand that Trump and two of his children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, answer questions under oath.

Mazars logo on a concrete pillar outside of its Dublin center
Mazars said it was cutting ties with TrumpImage: Artur Widak/NurPhoto/picture alliance

What did Mazars say?

"While we have not concluded that the various financial statements, as a whole, contain material discrepancies, based upon the totality of the circumstances, we believe our advice to you to no longer rely upon those financial statements is appropriate,'' Mazars lawyer William J. Kelly wrote to Trump Organization officer Alan Garten.

Mazars also said it was cutting ties with Trump.

Kelly said that it had produced the financial statements "in accordance with professional standards" but that it could no longer stand by the documents given the evidence uncovered by James and another investigation carried out by Mazars itself.

Kelly said that Mazars' conclusions applied to Trump's financial statements from 2011 to 2020.

What was the Trump Organization's response?

The Trump Organization said it was "disappointed that Mazars has chosen to part ways," but also noted that the firm hadn't found material discrepancies in the financial statements.

According to a Trump Organization statement, the letter "confirms that after conducting a subsequent review of all prior statements of financial condition, Mazars' work was performed in accordance with all applicable accounting standards and principles and that such statements of financial condition do not contain any material discrepancies."

"This confirmation effectively renders the investigations by the [District Attorney] and [Attorney General] moot.''

Recently Trump has been holding rallies and raising funds, prompting speculation that he may run for president in 2024.

sdi/ (AP, AFP, Reuters)