Trump Organization's India Project Partner Accused of 'Large-Scale Fraud'

The Trump Organization's real estate expansion into India is not going as smoothly as planned.

New York– and London-based companies filed a criminal complaint last month alleging that the Indian real estate developer IREO, the Trump Organization's partner in an office tower project in Gurgaon, India, illegally siphoned off at least $147 million of the money it invested, The Washington Post reported Monday based on documents it obtained.

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The complaint, filed with New Delhi police, stated that the "large-scale fraud" could have involved close to $200 million worth of investors' money. The two global investment firms, Children's Investment Fund Foundation and Axon Partners, put nearly $300 million into the project southwest of New Delhi.

Both investment companies and IREO declined to provide comments to the Post after its report, but Lalit Goyal, IREO's managing director, told investors in a March 13 letter that "the allegation of fraud, diversion and misappropriation of funds [...] is false, baseless and devoid of any merit."

Goyal wrote that legal proceedings would be a "needless and unwarranted distraction" during refinancing and would drive away investors and buyers.

Trump Organization’s real estate partner in India accused of $147 million fraud

— Annie Gowen (@anniegowen) March 19, 2018

The Trump Organization, whose executive vice president is Donald Trump Jr., President Donald Trump's eldest son, could not immediately be reached for comment by Newsweek on Monday morning.

Trump Jr. said IREO was "truly a fantastic group" in his April 2016 announcement of the project. During a trip to India last month, he said it was one of "five incredible deals that are all active," a statement that drew ethics concerns.

India is the Trump Organization's biggest market outside the U.S., with five projects. Besides the IREO office tower, the organization is working on another development in Gurgaon as well as ones in Mumbai and Kolkata, and has a luxury complex already up and running in Pune.