The Trump Organization’s real estate partner in India is being accused of at least $147 million in fraud.
Two global investment companies last month filed a criminal complaint with New Delhi police against IREO, accusing the company of engaging in “large-scale fraud,” The Washington Post reported.
The complaint said the company was “illegally siphoning off” at least $147 million of investor money and allege the number could actually approach $200 million.
The real estate investment company had worked with the Trump Organization on a project in India, according to the Post.
The two companies that filed the complaint against IREO include the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and Axon Partners. The two companies invested about $300 million in IREO, according to the Post.
The criminal complaint does not mention IREO’s partnership with the Trump Organization, according to the newspaper.
IREO’s managing director, Lalit Goyal, wrote in a March 13 letter to the company’s investors that “as far as the allegation of fraud, diversion and misappropriation of fraud is concerned, that is false, baseless and devoid of any merit.”
In the letter, he also called the legal proceedings a “needless and unwarranted distraction,” adding that they would result in “significant damage and harm to IREO.”
Goyal did not comment directly to the Post regarding the complaint.
Donald Trump Jr. has, in the past, praised IREO as “truly a fantastic group.” Goyal said in an interview with the Post in 2017 that IREO thought Trump would be “the ideal partner.”
The Trump Organization and IREO had first discussed working together on a commercial real estate tower around 2013, according to the Post, but that deal didn’t end up happening.
In 2016, the two groups signed a licensing agreement regarding a luxury office building.
Goyal offered praise for Trump Jr., saying he was “very focused on what the commercial building should be.”
“The shape of the glass, what customers like. He was very businesslike,” Goyal said in the 2017 interview.
Trump Jr. took a trip to India last month to promote Trump-branded developments in a number of Indian cities. The visit drew some scrutiny after buyers of certain apartments were offered “a conversation and dinner” with Trump Jr. for a fee of $38,000.
Trump Jr. did not promote IREO on the trip only briefly mentioning the real estate partner in a CNBC interview.