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Timothy L. O'Brien

Trump and His Spurious Business Face a Reckoning

The former president’s penchant for inflating his wealth, achievements and abilities could finally imperil his company.

Tarnished legacy.

Tarnished legacy.

Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York State Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday accused former President Donald Trump, his three eldest children and their company, the Trump Organization, of financial fraud, contending they misled investors and falsely inflated the value of their assets by billions of dollars over more than a decade.

Trump, a wildly insecure man, has spent most of his 76 years inflating his wealth, achievements and abilities, but James’s civil lawsuit, more than 280 pages long, is the first time his carnivalesque business practices have exposed him to existential legal consequences. James’s suit won’t land the Trumps in prison — only criminal convictions could do that — but it seeks to bar the Trumps from running a business in New York State and may unravel the Trump Organization.