The New York attorney general’s office says it is investigating the Trump Organization “in a criminal capacity”.
A spokesman for the state’s top prosecutor, Letitia James, said the inquiry into Trump’s property company was no longer purely civil.
James has been scrutinising the ex-Republican president’s financial dealings before he took office. Trump organization has denied any wrongdoing and say the inquiry by a Democratic prosecutor is a political vendetta.
The statement did not say what turned the inquiry from civil to criminal in nature, or whether the former president himself might be personally implicated in any allegations.
James launched a civil inquiry in March 2019 into claims that Mr Trump had inflated the value of his assets to banks when seeking loans, and understated them to lower his taxes.
Her office has also been seeking documents on four Trump Organization properties in Manhattan, upstate New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Vance’s legal filing cited newspaper articles about purported bank and insurance fraud at the company.
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