How exactly Donald Trump inflated his net worth by ‘billions’ – Letitia James

The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James has detailed every case in which Donald Trump allegedly misrepresented the value of his multi-billion dollar properties while announcing a major fraud lawsuit against the former president.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, James announced that she had filed a $250 million lawsuit against Trump, three of her children — Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric Trump — and two senior Trump Organization executives.

James has embarked on a long-running investigation to determine whether Trump fraudulently inflated or understated the value of his assets to obtain benefits such as better bank loans and lower tax bills.

Trump and the Trump Organization are accused of “knowingly and intentionally” filing more than 200 false and misleading asset appraisals between 2011 and 2021 to defraud financial institutions.

Property of Donald Trump
This combo image shows the Trump Tower in Chicago, top left, an aerial view of the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, top right, Seven Springs, Mount Kisco, NY, bottom left, and the Trump Tower in New York, bottom right. Trump is pictured on a golf course, center.

Properties include Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump Tower in New York and what was previously the Trump International Hotel in Washington DC.

Trump has denied the allegations and dismissed the lawsuit as ‘another witch hunt’

How Donald Trump allegedly inflated his net worth

Trump Park Avenue, New York, NY

Between 2011 and 2011, Trump listed the value of this asset at between $90.9 million and $350 million.

In July 2020, The Trump Organization received an appraisal worth $84.5 million, but in the 2020 filing, The Trump Organization appraised Trump Park Avenue at $135.8 million.

Values ​​for unsold residential units on Trump Park Avenue, sometimes as high as 95%, accounted for the bulk of the value estimate, despite the fact that 12 of the units were stabilized. An independent appraisal ordered by a bank in 2010 valued the 12 rent-stabilized units at $750,000, but they were valued at nearly $50 million in the 2011 and 2012 returns.

The value of Ivanka Trump’s penthouses on Trump Park Avenue has also been raised in statements. Its first included an option to purchase the unit for $8.5 million, but was valued at $20.8 million in 2011 and 2012 and $25 million in 2013. A second, larger unit, was valued at $14.2 million, but was valued at $45 million on the 2014 statement.

Donald Trump’s triplex apartment in Trump Tower, New York, NY

Trump reportedly valued his triplex apartment at $327 million in 2015 and 2016 financial statements, based on claims that it was nearly 30,000 square feet, when it was actually 10,996 square feet.

James’ office said the attempted value claim was “absurd” given that at that time a single apartment in New York had sold for even $100 million, at a price per square foot less than $10,000. The record sale for an apartment in Trump Tower was $16.5 million at a price of less than $4,500 per square foot.

40 Wall Street, New York, NY

In November 2012, the Trump Organization received a bank valuation from 40 Wall Street for $220 million, but it was valued at $527 million and $530 million in returns for that year and 2013.

Seven Springs, Westchester County, New York

The Trump Organization is also accused of inflating the value of the 212-acre estate, which Trump bought in 1995 for $7.5 million.

The property was valued at $291 million in filings from 2011 to 2021 based on a proposed plan to build nine luxury homes on the property generating a supposed profit of $161 million. However, James said these values ​​were “fictional” and “totally unsupported by the property’s development history and contradicted by every professional appraisal carried out on the property”.

In 2016, an independent appraisal concluded that the estate was worth $56 million.

Niketown, New York, NY

Trump allegedly provided multiple false and misleading representations of the retail space he owned next to Trump Tower between 2011 and 2019, including basing the valuation on independent appraisals that were never conducted. Trump’s assessment is also said to have failed to factor in the certainty of a substantial increase in rental spending.

When the increase in projected rent expenses was factored into Niketown’s 2020 and 2021 appraisals, the property’s reported value rose from approximately $400 million to $225-250 million.

Trump International Hotel and Tower, Las Vegas, Nevada

Trump reportedly repeatedly submitted lower property assessment estimates to Nevada tax authorities on his Las Vegas hotel, and higher property assessments on his returns. For example, in 2015, the Trump Organization submitted an appraisal of $24.9 million to dispute taxes levied by Nevada tax authorities, but listed the property’s value as $107 million in its returns after allegedly using fraudulent methods.

Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, Florida

Trump’s Florida home was valued at $739 million based on the principle that it was unrestricted property and could be developed for residential use. The lawsuit claims the station should have been valued at more than $75 million.

Trump International Golf Links Scotland (Aberdeen)

In 2014, Donald Trump valued his Aberdeenshire golf club in Scotland at $327 million. However, that valuation would have been reached assuming he had the right to build 2,500 luxury homes on the property, despite having approval to build less than 1,500 holiday apartments and golf villas.

Trump National Golf Club, Jupiter

Trump bought the Florida golf course for $5 million. Less than a year later, Trump appraised the same property at $62 million on the 2013 statement.

Property of Donald Trump
This combo image shows Donald Trump at a Save America rally on September 17, 2022, inset, and a general view of the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Trump is accused of repeatedly submitting lower property appraisal estimates to Nevada tax authorities regarding the hotel and higher property appraisals on his returns.

Trump also allegedly increased the value of a number of his other golf courses by treating them as capital assets without accounting for any depreciation, as well as artificially inflating their value by claiming that unsold memberships were more expensive and higher. common than they actually were.

For example, the assessment of anticipated revenue from Trump National Golf Club Westchester, Briarcliff Manor, New York in 2011 was based on the assumption that new members would pay an initiation fee of nearly $200,000 for each of 67 unsold memberships. However, many new members that year paid no membership fees, and no new members the previous year paid membership fees over $50,000.

Between 2013 and 2020, the Trump Organization added the value of members’ refundable deposits, amounting to more than $4 million, to the purchase price of Trump National Golf Course Charlotte in Mooresville, North Carolina.

The Trump Organization also reportedly included the $11.7 million total face value of member deposits at Trump National Golf Course Colts Neck, in Colts Neck, New Jersey to inflate the club’s value to $40 million from 2012 to 2020.

In 2021, the Trump Organization changed the way it valued the club, resulting in a new valuation of $27.5 million.

Trump also reportedly received about $250 million in net profit after obtaining favorable loans using false and misleading statements

“For too long, the powerful and wealthy people of this country have acted as if the rules don’t apply to them. Donald Trump stands out as one of the most egregious examples of this misconduct,” James said in a statement. communicated.

“With the help of his children and top executives of the Trump Organization, Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and cheat the system.”

The Trump Organization has been contacted for comment.

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