Judge Arthur Engoron said the appraiser, Cushman & Wakefield, “can only blame himself if he chooses to handle impending deadlines arrogantly.”
Engoron acknowledged that the subpoenas demand “an enormous number of documents”, but he said the attorney general’s powers are broad. The fine takes effect on Thursday.
Valuations conducted by Cushman, who worked for the Trump Organization for years until his resignation after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, are at the center of the civilian investigation into the accuracy of the Trump Organization’s financial statements.
Cushman had previously contested the subpoena and challenged it in court. Last month, a New York court of appeals said it would not stop the state from enforcing the subpoena.
The company said it has gone to great lengths to cooperate with the court and the attorney general’s office, and plans to appeal.
“We have put a lot of money and effort into quickly identifying, collecting, reviewing and producing the vast amount of documents requested by the OAG, and we have now produced over hundreds of thousands of pages of documents and over 650 appraisals since the last subpoena was issued. released in February 2022,” said a Cushman spokesperson.
“Cushman disagrees with the suggestion that the company has not acted diligently and in good faith in complying with the court order, and we will appeal this decision,” the spokesperson added.
Cushman’s attorneys have denied allegations that appraisers misrepresented or prepared valuations fraudulently or deceptively. The Trump Organization has denied any allegation and said the investigation by James, a Democrat, is politically motivated.
For years, Cushman was the Trump Organization’s go-to appraiser, helping her appraise several properties, including the family complex known as Seven Springs, the Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles, and 40 Wall Street, according to court records. The civil subpoenas demand Cushman’s working papers related to that property and others, information about payments to the Trump Organization and her decision to stop working for Trump in January 2021. In addition, authorities are asking for information about a Cushman appraiser who went to work for the Trump organization.
Investigators said in court files that they want to investigate what was asked by Trump, “whether the appraisers were pushed in any way by the client, and whether Cushman’s substantial dealings with the Trump Organization in any way influenced the appraisals prepared or other appraisals. -related information or compromised Cushman’s objectivity.”
Cushman regularly provided the Trump Organization with real estate data that, according to the attorney general’s office, was ultimately used in the preparation of its financial statements. There were “hundreds” of instances where, according to the attorney general’s office, those data were cited in the financial statements “as support for the inflated valuations.”
Cushman attorneys previously argued that the subpoenas were too broad and cumbersome because they sought information about clients unrelated to the Trump organization.
This story has been updated with additional details.