In 2005, Donald Trump submitted documents to Deutsche Bank in which he claimed a net worth of $3 billion, but his actual assets were worth far less, the bank itself determined, according to a blockbuster investigative report by The New York Times published on Monday. In fact, Trump's net worth was only about $788 million at the time, the bank found.
But Deutsche Bank loaned Trump a staggering $500 million anyway to build a 92-story skyscraper in Chicago, according to the Times report, after Trump "wooed" bank executives with flights on his personal private jet and assured them that his daughter Ivanka would personally oversee the project a sign of the Trump "family's commitment to its success."
The Chicago skyscraper alone was just one of several instances in which, The Times reported, Trump lied about the value of his assets in order to secure loans from the Germany-based, multinational bank. He was still engaged in the practice as late as 2014 when he sought a loan to purchase the NFL Buffalo Bills football franchise, a transaction that may have topped $1 billion, according to the Times report.
Monday's revelations appeared to confirm congressional testimony last month by Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen. In his testimony, as western New York's Democrat and Chronicle newspaper reported, Cohen alleged that Trump inflated his estimated net worth in order to secure a loan to buy the Bills.
During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump claimed that his net worth was approximately $10 billion, as the financial magazine Fortune reported. About a month before he made that claim, however, Trump said that his net worth was $8.7 billion. At the time, the Trump campaign said that the lower figure was more than one-year-old.
The Times report said that $8.7 billion was the amount Trump claimed to be worth in "bare bones documents" that he submitted to Deutsche Bank in 2014 when he sought financing for his ultimately failed bid to acquire the Buffalo NFL franchise. But at that time, as well, Deutsche Bank executives concluded that the $8.7 billion net worth figure was another exaggeration by Trump. However, according to The Times, "they nonetheless agreed to vouch for Mr. Trump's bid."
David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter who has authored two books about Trump, has said that based on his own research, the value of Trump's assets have likely never topped even $1 billion, as The Inquisitr reported.
"There is not now and never has been a shred of verifiable evidence that Trump is or ever was a billionaire," Johnston said.