MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A Mexican official widened a tax evasion complaint against U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday, the same day the new American leader signed a decree to speed up construction of a border wall between the two countries.
The complaint was originally filed in October alleging the Trump Organization and Los Angeles real estate firm Irongate did not pay federal taxes, or have proper building permits for an ultimately failed luxury condominium project in the Mexican border city of Tijuana.
The complaint was broadened on Wednesday to allege Trump violated Mexican law by, as a foreigner, seeking to buy property within 31 miles (50 km) of the U.S. border to develop the Trump Ocean Resort Baja project, the official Jaime Martinez, who filed the complaint as a private citizen, told reporters.
The filing was also expanded to question whether Trump was issued a visa in relation with the project, in compliance with Mexican immigration laws, Martinez said.
Mexico’s attorney general’s office said it was investigating the complaint but did not provide further detail.
“The truth is that he did not pay taxes, the truth is he did not pay for construction or land use in Tijuana... and all of this constitutes a series of criminal acts,” said Martinez, head of the federally-run Commission for Dialogue with Indigenous People of Mexico.
The press offices of the Trump Organization and the Trump administration did not immediately reply to emails seeking request for comment.
Asked about the timing of the announcement, Martinez, a former member of Congress, said the complaint was widened in response to Trump’s “aggressive attitude” in signing an executive order to expedite construction of a wall along the 2,000 mile (3,220 km) U.S. southern border.
The Tijuana condominium project folded in 2009 and its failure led investors who lost millions of dollars to file a lawsuit against Trump in a U.S. court.
In a 2012 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Trump said Irongate was to blame for the project’s demise and while he licensed his name to it, he was not involved in its building.
According to the expanded complaint seen on Wednesday, that lawsuit was settled in late 2013.
Reporting by Natalie Schachar; Editing by Andrew Hay
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