NIFA NEWS

The importance of documentation

When talking about the forensic investigation of suspected financial wrongdoing, most people instinctively think of accountants poring over bank statements and balance sheets, but that is only half of the story.

News that the United States’ House Oversight Committee Chairman has demanded all manner of documents relating to Donald Trump’s business dealings, from Trust documents to letters, as well as financial information, shows that any forensic investigation needs to build up an entire picture from every available piece of evidence, not just financial snippets.

In his letter to Mr Trump’s accountants, Elijah Cummings has asked for ‘all communications between Donald Bender and Donald J. Trump or any employee or representative of the Trump Organization’ dating back to 2009.

Mr Cummings is particularly interested in documents related to the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust, the Trump Organization, the Trump Corporation, DJT Holdings LLC, the Trump Old Post Office LLC, the Trump Foundation, and ‘any parent, subsidiary, affiliate, joint venture, predecessor, or successor’.

According to Mr Cummings, the committee is “just seeking the truth”, and in order to find the truth, all information must be available to review.

However, the committee has doubts that it has all the information it requires, as it has already found that when Mr Trump applied to be president in 2012, some debts, including $75 million for a Chicago project and $50 million for a Las Vegas project, were not declared. However, it is unclear whether Mr Trump was directly responsible for this.

Roger Isaacs, Forensic Partner at Milsted Langdon said: “Having access to all documentation is vital for a forensic investigation as it enables the investigator to build up a full picture using every available piece of evidence.”

Author: Roger Isaacs 1 April 2019

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