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Trump – the importance of witness statements in financial investigations

News that a senior Trump Organization official is being brought to testify before a grand jury is a reminder that witnesses are key in any complex financial investigation.

According to sources, Jeff McConney, Senior Vice President and Controller for the Trump Organization, is the first employee from the former president’s company who has been called to testify in court.

The New York Attorney General’s office has now expanded its civil investigation into Donald Trump’s business empire and is “actively investigating” it in a criminal capacity.

The civil investigation, which has been active for two years, is looking into whether the business manipulated property values to secure loans and obtain economic and tax benefits.

In addition to this, a separate investigation by Manhattan’s District Attorney (DA), Cyrus Vance, has been looking into similar allegations over Mr Trump’s business dealings during his pre-presidency period, spanning about two years.

This is a very complex case and the investigators have sought testimony from those working at the top.

As a former Chief Assistant DA of Manhattan commented, in any case like this, the two most important people to speak to are the company’s Chief Financial Officer and the Controller.

An examination of the finances paints a good picture but witness statements from key personnel can sometimes shed light on  the intent of those involved in transactions.

Roger Isaacs, Forensic Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “A thorough forensic investigation often requires much more than just examining bank statements and money trails.

“It combines criminal investigation skills with financial auditing to uncover what has happened and often involves speaking with key members of staff who can help create an accurate picture of an organisation and its actions.

“It is these skills which make the expertise of forensic accountants so sought after in complex civil and criminal cases, both in the US and around the world.”

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