A real estate investment company that worked with the Trump Organization in India has been accused of “illegally siphoning off” at least $147 million of investor money, a figure that could actually approach $200 milion.
In February, global investment companies Axon Partners and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation filed a criminal complaint with New Delhi police against IREO, accusing the company of engaging in “large-scale fraud,” The Hill reported. The two companies invested approximately $300 million in IREO.
IREO’s partnership with the Trump Organization is not mentioned in the criminal complaint.
In a March 13 letter to IREO’s investors, the company’s managing director, Lalit Goyal, wrote that “as far as the allegation of fraud, diversion and misappropriation of fraud is concerned, that is false, baseless and devoid of any merit.”
Goyal also called the legal proceedings a “needless and unwarranted distraction,” noting that they would result in “significant damage and harm to IREO.”
In the past, Donald Trump Jr. has lauded IREO as “truly a fantastic group.” In a 2017 interview with The Washington Post, Goyal said that IREO viewed Trump as “the ideal partner.”
The Trump Organization and IREO initially discussed a partnership to construct a commercial real estate tower sometime around 2013, but there was never a deal on the project. In 2016, the two companies signed a licensing agreement involving a luxury office building.
In the 2017 interview, Goyal praised Trump Jr., saying that he was “very focused on what the commercial building should be. The shape of the glass, what customers like. He was very businesslike.”
In February, Trump Jr. visited India to promote Trump-branded developments in several Indian cities. The trip came under scrutiny after buyers of certain apartments were offered “a conversation and dinner” with Trump Jr. for a $38,000 fee.
Trump Jr. did not promote IREO during the trip, although he did briefly mention the company in an interview with CNBC.