A criminal investigation into Donald Trump Organization
The earlier civil probe expands to a criminal investigation
The New York prosecutor's office is now pursuing a criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump's business empire, expanding the scope of what started as a civil investigation.
"We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organization is no longer purely civil in nature," Fabien Levy, a spokesperson for the prosecutor's office, said in a statement.
Prosecutor Letitia James has been examining whether the Trump Organization deliberately reported incorrect valuations of assets to secure loans and obtain economic and tax benefits.
"We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan [district attorney]," Levy said.
For more than two years, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has been conducting a separate investigation into Trump's business dealings before he became president.
James' office has not given a reason for what led to the change in its approach to the probe and the subsequent public announcement.
Vance's office has said in court filings that it was probing "possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct" at the Trump Organization, including tax and insurance fraud, along with falsification of business records.
The Republican ex-president has in the past denounced the investigations as part of a Democratic "witch hunt."