Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has stepped up his investigation into former President Donald Trump with the addition of a former federal prosecutor who’s highly regarded for his expertise in untangling complex financial dealings and white-collar crimes, the New York Times reported Thursday.
A former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York where he spent three years as the head of the Criminal Division, Mark Pomerantz has formally agreed to assist Vance’s team in its investigation of Trump and his privately owned businesses for possible tax and bank fraud, people said to be familiar with the investigation told the Times.
The probe, which began as an inquiry into the hush money payments Trump’s former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election, has broadened “significantly” in recent months. Prosecutors claimed in court documents to have evidence of “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization.”
According to the report, “the investigation by Mr. Vance, a Democrat, is focused on possible tax and bank-related fraud, including whether the Trump Organization misled its lenders or local tax authorities about the value of his properties to obtain loans and tax benefits, the people with knowledge of the matter said, requesting anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the investigation.”
The office of the district attorney has also interviewed Deutsche Bank employees, employees with insurance broker Aon, and employees with Ladder Capital, one of Trump’s top lenders. Deutsche Bank, for its part, is done with Trump.
However, despite years of ongoing litigation, Trump tax returns still have not been produced to prosecutors, with the U.S. Supreme Court inexplicably delaying a final decision in the case for several months.
Pomerantz, who sits on the advisory board for the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice, will now bring decades of public and private sector white-collar legal expertise to the table. He recently took leave from his “of counsel” position in the litigation department of the Paul Weiss law firm to join Vance’s squad.
“Mark has represented some of the largest companies in the United States in investigations undertaken by the U.S. Department of Justice and various state and local prosecutors. He has tried cases on behalf of commercial clients and individuals before juries and arbitration panels, and also has substantial appellate experience, arguing dozens of appeals before appellate courts throughout the country,” his Quattrone Center bio states. “Additionally, Mark has a great deal of experience in matters involving the financial services industry, and has handled major matters and internal investigations involving all aspects of alleged corporate misconduct, including securities and bank fraud, mail and wire fraud, RICO and FCPA violations, tax offenses and bribery. In recent years, he has represented clients in matters involving equity research analysts, structured finance, the allocation of initial public offering shares, reform of the mutual fund industry and other leading issues relating to securities law enforcement by federal and state authorities.”
Per the Times, Pomerantz was also involved in a 1988 organized crime case that helped determine the legal definition of “racketeering.”
[Image via MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images, ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images]
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