In suit, NY AG takes aim at Trump’s boasts about wealth

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump’s latest legal woes focus on allegations that he and his company chronically overstated the value of things he owned in order to get loans, cut taxes or do business.

New York Attorney General Leticia James claimed in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that Trump’s company used deceptive schemes to overstate the value of 23 properties and other assets, including its Fifth Avenue penthouse in Manhattan. and its chic Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Trump’s legal team said he did not defraud anyone. Estimating real estate values ​​is a subjective art, they say, and the former president had no intention of tricking anyone into getting things he didn’t deserve.

Here’s a look at some of the ways Trump is accused in the lawsuit of lying about his net worth:


Trump announced his luxury triplex in the Trump Tower home was a whopping 30,000 square feet (2,787 square meters), when it was actually only a third that size, according to the attorney general’s office. . Based in part on this misrepresentation, the organization said in a 2015 financial statement that the apartment was worth $327 million. “That price was absurd,” the attorney general’s office said, noting that Trump’s valuation was more than three times the price of the most expensive apartment ever sold in New York.


The Trump Organization has valued the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, now the former president’s primary residence, at $739 million. The attorney general’s office says its actual value was only a tenth of that amount. The company based its assessment on the premise that the Palm Beach waterfront property could be developed as residences, when in fact its permitted use was limited to that of a social club. As such, the resort’s revenue was only $25 million a year, which the attorney general said would have valued the property at around $75 million.


In its financial statements, the Trump Organization estimated its condominium tower on Manhattan’s posh Park Avenue to be worth up to $350 million, according to the lawsuit. Yet these estimates differed significantly from internal estimates used by the company for business planning. Part of the higher figures in the financial statements were due to the company ignoring the fact that a dozen apartments in the skyscraper were rent-stabilized, meaning they were unlikely to return. luxury prices. A bank-ordered appraisal in 2010 valued the units at $750,000. But company filings over the next two years listed the market value of those units at $50 million.


In another extreme example, James said the Trump Organization inflated the value of a Wall Street property that was originally valued at $220 million in 2012, but in statements the company said the property was valued at around $530 million – attributing that amount to the same valuation firm that appraised it at a lower amount. Three years later, the Trump Organization secured a new loan based roughly on a higher value. The company then said the property’s valuation was $735 million.


The New York Attorney General has accused the Trump Organization of pursuing a pattern of deception when it represented the value of a golf course in Jupiter, Florida at $62 million – just a year after Donald Trump bought for $5 million. “Virtually all of the value assigned to Jupiter has been fraudulently overstated due to several misleading methods and assumptions,” the attorney general’s office said in a statement.


The Trump Organization has built less than 1,500 cottages and apartments on a golf course in Aberdeen, Scotland, although 2,500 such units were assumed. The company declared the value at $327 million, including $267 million based on building 2,500 rental units, the attorney general’s office said.

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