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Cushman & Wakefield Faces $10,000-a-Day Fine for Contempt

The firm will be fined for failing to produce documents subpoenaed in a New York investigation of Donald Trump’s company.

(Bloomberg)—The Trump Organization’s former appraiser Cushman & Wakefield Inc. was found in contempt of court and will be fined $10,000 a day for failing to produce documents subpoenaed in a New York investigation of Donald Trump’s company.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is probing potentially fraudulent asset valuations at the Manhattan-based real estate business. She issued subpoenas on Cushman & Wakefield in September and February.

The appraiser failed to block the subpoenas in court and on appeal and was ordered to turn over what the judge called “an enormous number of documents” by June 27. On June 29, it sought an extension.

“This court is incredulous as to why Cushman & Wakefield would wait until two days after the court-ordered deadline had lapsed to initiate a process of asking for yet another extension,” New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron wrote in an order Tuesday. He said the fine would start July 7 and continue until the company complies.

Cushman & Wakefield said in an emailed statement that it had gone to “extreme lengths” to comply with the court’s order.

“We have gone to great expense and effort to quickly identify, collect, review and produce the massive set 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 in February 2022,” the firm said, referring to the office of the attorney general. It said it would appeal the contempt ruling.

The judge in April held Trump himself in contempt for failing to turn over records related to the valuations, resulting in $110,000 in fines against the former president before he was found in compliance last month. He has called James’s probe a political vendetta.

In a statement on Twitter Wednesday, James said “no person or company, no matter how powerful, is above the law.”

The case is New York v. Trump Organization, 451685/2020, Supreme Court of the State of New York (Manhattan).

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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