New York opens criminal investigation into Trump

In another escalation of Donald Trump's legal woes, New York state's investigation into the former U.S. president's company has now become a criminal probe.

The New York attorney general's office said it opened the investigation on Tuesday, now going beyond what began as a civil case.

Attorney General Letitia James has been looking into whether the Trump Organization falsely reported property values to secure better loans, and to gain economic and tax benefits.

In a statement, a spokesman for James's office said, "We have informed the Trump Organization that

our investigation into the organization is no longer purely civil in nature."

The spokesman added they would be working alongside the Manhattan District Attorney.

Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance has been investigating Trump for more than two years for possible tax and insurance fraud, in dealings before Trump became president.

The Trump Organization could not immediately be reached for comment.

Though Trump has said that the investigation is politically motivated - overseen by Democrats.

The case becomes the third known criminal investigation against the former Republican president.

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