Cushman & Wakefield is stuck in a messy situation due to its ties to former President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization. A New York state judge has ordered the real estate firm to turn over documents related to its appraisal work for the Trump Organization. The New York Attorney General’s office is investigating Cushman’s role in alleged fraud committed by Trump’s firm.
The judge ruled earlier this week that Cushman & Wakefield must hand over documents related to appraisals for several Trump properties, including the Seven Springs estate in Westchester County, 40 Wall St. in Manhattan, and the Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles. Cushman has until May 27 to turn over the documents to the New York Attorney General office. In a statement, the firm said that suggestions it hasn’t responded in good faith to the investigation are “fundamentally untrue.”
The Attorney General is working on a civil probe into whether the Trump Organization misstated real estate values for tax benefits or more favorable loan terms. Cushman has appraised several Trump properties in the past and, earlier this year, James claimed investigators “uncovered significant evidence” suggesting misleading or fraudulent asset valuations. For example, at 40 Wall St., James alleges that Trump sought to refinance the property in 2015, submitting a statement of financial condition estimating a $735 million valuation. But another lender valued the property at only $257 million.
Investigators claim Cushman & Wakefield has provided real estate services for the Trump Organization for “many years.” Cushman announced more than a year ago that it would no longer represent Trump in real estate matters, but it still pays the former president rent every month through a lease at 1290 Sixth Ave., a building that Trump co-owns with Vornado. The lease ends next year, and Cushman Tri-State CEO Toby Dodd told employees last summer they were considering re-locating. Cushman & Wakefield has sought to distance itself from the Trump Organization, but it looks like they’ll be dealing with investigations into the former president’s real estate dealings for a bit longer.