Attorney General Asserts That Trump's Empire Built On Lies, Numbers Tell The Truth
Former President Donald Trump is back in the news as he is defending himself in a $250 million civil fraud case that could bring his real estate empire tumbling down. Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, is leading the investigation, alleging a ten-year scheme that involved "numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation" in order to inflate Trump's net worth in order to obtain better loan terms. Even though Trump vehemently rejects these accusations, the proof offered in court has caused serious doubts to be raised about the reliability of his business empire.
The manipulation of financial numbers is at the center of the case against Trump and his organization. A real estate executive named David McArdle gave testimony about his interactions with Eric Trump, who was responsible for determining the worth of unfinished residential units at the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York, reports Benzinga.
Trump's financial statements for the same years surprisingly valued the land at an astounding $101 million, despite McArdle's professional appraisals valuing the units at a range of $43 million to $45.2 million. The attorney general made note of the fact that these inflated numbers seemed to come solely from "telephone conversations with Eric Trump."
Outside the courtroom, Trump exclaimed, “We built a great company – a lot of cash, it’s got a lot of great assets, some of the greatest real estate assets anywhere in the world." He disregarded the case, the legal system, and the Democratic attorney general, calling her a "radical lunatic" and the case "a disgrace," per The Journal Record.
NY AG Letitia James: "The judge has already decided that he engaged in repeated and persistent acts of fraud. So he can call me names, he can engage in distractions, but at the end of the day, Mr. Trump — unfortunately — his entire empire was built on nothing but lies."— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 18, 2023
James, the attorney general, was straightforward in her disapproval of Trump's tirade. "Trump continues to rant and rave and scream at the cameras" and "use this courtroom as a means to raise funds for his campaign," James informed the reporters outside court, per CNBC. "Mr. Trump may lie, but numbers don’t lie,” she said. “He can call me names, he can engage in distractions,” she said, but “his entire empire was built on nothing but lies and on sinking sand.”
Judge Arthur Engoron also issued a partial gag order during the trial, which limited Trump's ability to publicly comment on the goings-on. Trump was later charged with $5000 fine as a result of violating the gag order. Trump's assets were overvalued by billions of dollars, the judge has already ruled, and as a result, The Trump Organization's business licenses in New York were revoked, which restricts its ability to operate there.
The testimony of Ladder Capital executive Jack Weisselberg disclosed that the underwriting process for a $160 million loan for The Trump Organization took into account Trump's financial statements. Weisselberg stated that considering Trump's net worth was "one of many statements we were looking at in the underwriting process." Both parties are awaiting the court's rulings on possible fines and other actions outlined in the attorney general's lawsuit as the trial continues.
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