Trump, family sued by New York AG Letitia James | USA TODAY

New York Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday accused former President Donald Trump of massive fraud in a civil lawsuit following a three year inquiry into the finances of the family business.

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James said Trump “falsely inflated his wealth by billions of dollars” to enrich himself and his family. Last month, Trump repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment during a deposition as part of James’ civil fraud investigation into the Trump Organization’s finances.

Trump’s attempt to shield himself from possible criminal jeopardy recalled his remarks during a 2016 campaign stop when he compared those who have invoked their constitutional right against self-incrimination to mobsters: “The mob takes the Fifth. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”

James’ investigation was launched more than three years ago after former Trump attorney Michael Cohen told federal lawmakers that the former president regularly inflated the value of his properties and net worth to get better insurance and loan rates. In May, the attorney general signaled the inquiry was nearing an end and that investigators had amassed substantial evidence that could support legal action, such as a lawsuit, against Trump, his company or both.

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