Donald Trump has repeatedly exaggerated the value of his financial assets on official forms that may be used by lenders and business partners, even once claiming that his signature real estate project, Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, was 10 stories taller than it actually is, according to an investigation into Trump’s records published on Thursday by The Washington Post.
In his 2011 “Statement of Financial Condition” obtained and posted online by The Washington Post, Trump describes Trump Tower as “a 68-story mixed-use property.” And later on the same page, the document refers to the 725 Fifth Avenue building, where Trump maintains his primary personal residence, as “a 68 story bronze glass structure.”
The claim squares with other assertions that Trump has also made in public, such as his statement that his luxury penthouse home takes up the 66th, 67th, and 68th floors of Trump Tower, according to Business Insider.
In reality, official records such as those cited by the global database The Skyscraper Center list the 664-foot tall structure as 58 stories high.
Exaggerating assets in bank documents in order to obtain a loan is a felony crime, and indeed, Trump’s former personal lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to exactly that offense last year. In May, Cohen will begin serving a three-year prison sentence for convictions on that and other offenses, according to CNN.
Also on his 2011 statement, according to the Washington Post investigation, Trump claimed that he had 55 lots to sell for home development at a golf course he owns in Southern California. But in fact, the course had only 31 lots for sale. At a price of about $3 million per lot, the exaggeration added up to $72 million in projected revenue that Trump would have known he could never receive.
In his testimony to the House Oversight Committee on February 27, Cohen labeled Trump a “cheat” and revealed that Trump “inflated his total assets when it served his purposes,” according to a Washington Post account.
Cohen’s statements set off new investigations by both the House Oversight Committee and the New York State Department of Financial Services, both of which have filed requests of subpoenas for Trump financial documents, to determine if Trump has lied about his assets in official bank documents, according to the Washington Post.
Trump has also reportedly lied about the total amount of his assets in statements to Deutsche Bank, which loaned Trump about $2 billion during the 2000s, as Inquisitr reported. In one 2005 filing to Deutsche Bank, Trump claimed assets worth $3 billion, but an audit conducted by the bank itself valued Trump’s assets at $788 million at the time.