Attorney General Letitia James of New York stated on Wednesday that her agency had evidence of federal offences committed by former President Donald Trump and others, including bank fraud and financial institution lying.
James said her office has sent a criminal referral to federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the IRS.
The former president's admission of potential federal offences coincided with James' announcement of a civil lawsuit alleging Trump, three of his adult children, and some of his longtime business acquaintances of filing false financial statements for years in order to obtain various financial benefits.
James stated, "We think the actions described in this lawsuit also violate federal criminal law, including providing false information to financial institutions and bank fraud.
At a press conference, James stated, "We are sending any criminal breaches that we have discovered to the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and the Internal Revenue Service."
The 220-page civil lawsuit, filed earlier Wednesday in Manhattan Supreme Court, seeks at least $250 million in damages. It seeks to permanently bar Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump from serving as an officer of a company in New York, and permanently prohibit the Trump companies named in the suit from doing business in the state.
According to James on Wednesday morning, the defendants "repeatedly and persistently misrepresented the value of assets to convince banks to lend money to the Trump Organization on more advantageous terms" than would have been otherwise possible. According to James, they did this "to pay reduced taxes," as well as to fulfil loan obligations and persuade insurance firms to accept more advantageous conditions.
The seven causes of action named in the complaint—persistent and repeated fraud; fabricating business records; conspiring to do so; issuing false financial statements; conspiring to do so; insurance fraud; and conspiring to do so—all fall under the purview of the New York penal law.
The Manhattan federal prosecutors' office declined to comment further, according to a spokesperson who talked to NBC News. "We are aware of the New York Attorney General's referral," the spokesman said.