Donald Trump’s Financial Statements Were Key for Loan Approvals, Banker Testifies Amid Fraud Trial
Former President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, acquired loans worth hundreds of millions of dollars based on the financial statements he presented, which were deemed 'fraudulent' by the court. On Wednesday, October 11, 2023, a retired bank official testified during Trump's New York civil fraud trial.
The former Deutsche Bank risk management officer, Nicholas Haigh, said the Republican candidate's financial statements were a key deciding factor in approving his bank loans. Apparently, he was granted a $125 million loan in 2011 for his Doral, Florida, golf resort and a $107 million loan in 2012 for his Chicago hotel and condo skyscraper, reported The Independent.
Haigh added that the inflated value of Trump's financial assets has benefitted him to secure bigger loans and lower interest rates. The retired banker was the head of the Deutsche Bank's risk management office from 2008 to 2018. As part of the trial, Judge Arthur Engoron ruled Trump had committed fraud.
The case detailed that Trump and his Organization have falsely exaggerated his finances and net worth in financial statements they provide to banks, insurers, and others to secure business deals and loans. Although Trump denied any wrongdoing, claiming they always provide disclaimers on the documents, his longtime finance chief, Allen Weisselberg, contradicted.
Weisselberg acknowledged the information in Trump's statements has not always been accurate. But, the former president claimed that the lenders have had a chance to do their homework and the banks have minted money while working with him and "to this day have no complaints."
Donald Trump, his two sons and The Trump Organization are accused of inflating the value of their properties by over $2 billion, in order to get favorable loans. Losing could cost him an estimated $720 million in New York properties. Is this a fair or fraud trial in your opinion? pic.twitter.com/zVMyEW4gSr— The Census Poll (@TheCensusPoll) October 3, 2023
The testimonies are part of a Fraud lawsuit by New York Attorney General Letitia James against Trump, his organization, and its executives. As part of the case, the 45th president and his business empires have been accused of inflating their wealth and assets by over $2bn to earn loans and other benefits, reported BBC.
Judge Engoron said Trump misled banks and lenders by providing false statements. However, Trump insisted the case is a mere witch hunt against him and a distraction from the upcoming 2024 election campaign. Prior to this, a banker had never appeared in the court to testify; Haigh's presence is an exception.
"I assumed that the representations of the assets and liabilities were broadly accurate," Haigh testified. The former banker said that Trump was portrayed as a wealthy businessman based on the financial statements Deutsche Bank received. He admitted to having reviewed the financial records before approving the loans.
According to the 2011 financial records, Trump's net worth was $4.3 billion. Haigh added that the loan required Trump to be a guarantor with a minimum net worth of $2.5 billion. "As the ultimate decider, I needed to be comfortable with the terms of the loan, including the covenants that protected the bank," the retired banker said.
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The Republican front-runner attended the Fraud Trial's first three days. However, on the third day, Trump left the courthouse mid-proceedings after a heated argument with Judge Engoron. The 77-year-old called the trial "a disgrace" and stormed outside the building.
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