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OPEN & SHUT: NY AG thinks Trump’s financial fraud is so obvious that no trial is needed

OPEN & SHUT: NY AG thinks Trump’s financial fraud is so obvious that no trial is needed

In some ways, one is surprised to learn that Trump only overestimated his net worth by $2.2 billion. But that’s the number listed in a filing for summary judgment in NY AG Letitia James’s civil suit against the Trump Organization seeking $250 million, among possible other penalties.

According to an ABC News report:

“In 2014, Trump claimed on his statements of financial condition to be holding $6.7 billion in assets, but the attorney general’s office said that overstated Trump’s actual net worth that year by more than $2.2 billion.”

“‘Based on the undisputed evidence, no trial is required for the Court to determine that Defendants presented grossly and materially inflated asset values in the SFCs and then used those SFCs repeatedly in business transactions to defraud banks and insurers,’ the filing said.”

It is important to remember that in a summary judgment motion, the party filing the motion cannot have any factual matter disputable, and that might be the reason for the rather prosaic figure (One would think Trump would over-express his net worth by five billion, more!

This is a man who had fake Time Magazine covers made of himself and hung in public clubs. He’s got to go higher than $2.2 billion.

But NY AG Letitia James’s litigation team doesn’t want to have to prove the larger numbers because they might bring in some dispute. They must be certain that the lower figure can’t be disputed.

Hilariously, the attorney general’s filing Wednesday said Trump valued his Florida Mar-a-Lago estate “as if it could be sold as a private single-family residence for amounts ranging between $347 million to $739 million.”

The filing did not note that strict limitations exist on the use of the property as a residence and not a club.

The $347 million to $739 million figure is also laugh-out-loud funny. They can’t get it closer to half the price or full price, but they know it’s $347 million (not $350) and $739 million (not $740).

You would think that they could come within, eh – $175 million of the actual price even without the conditions?

It might be important to know that during that same period, the property was assessed by Palm Beach County as having a market value based on its restricted use as a social club ranging between $18 million to $27.6 million, the filing said.

Yeah.

It might help actually to get within $50 million.

Trump also added 15%-30% “Brand premium” on the official valuation because the “Trump brand” brought a lot of value. That value is already factored into the original valuation! If his brand was worth much at all after his disastrous presidency and subsequent indictments!

This is how someone inflates their net worth by over $2.2 billion in a manner that is very clear to the court that no serious person could quibble with these facts, and a judgment of fraud should be entered, and the trial proceeded to the damages phase.

One would think they will win.

This column is based on original reporting by Aaron Katersky of ABC News.com

I can be reached at jasonmiciak@gmail.com and on Twitter @JasonMiciak.

Editor’s note: This is an opinion column that solely reflects the opinions of the author.

Jason Miciak
Jason Miciak is an associate editor and opinion writer for Occupy Democrats. He's a Canadian-American who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a trained attorney, but for the last five years, he's devoted his time to writing political news and analysis. He enjoys life on the Gulf Coast as a single dad to a 15-year-old daughter. Hobbies include flower pots, cooking, and doing what his daughter tells him they're doing. Sign up to get all of my posts by email right here:

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