New Trump Tax Documents Show ‘Major Inconsistencies’ and ‘Versions of Fraud’
New tax documents reveal ‘major inconsistencies’ in figures for two of President Donald Trump’s buildings. The information, obtained by ProPublica, shows that Trump’s businesses reported wildly differing numbers about the same buildings to New York city tax authorities and lenders.
Trump made the buildings appear more profitable to potential lenders and less profitable to the city. In one case, he told a lender he earned twice as much in rent for one building in 2017 as he reported in tax. He also gave differing occupancy numbers for a building at 40 Wall Street, apparently in order to convince a lender that the building had ‘leasing momentum.’
Professor of finance and real estate Nancy Wallace told ProPublica that these discrepancies were ‘versions of fraud’.
“This kind of stuff is not OK,” the Berkeley professor said.
New York city tax filings contain an undertaking that the information provided is true and failure to provide that information is subject to civil and criminal penalties.
And the penalties can be severe, including large fines or even imprisonment. ProPublica’s report shows that Trump’s businesses were reporting discrepant figures while he was president in 2017. Trump did not divest himself from his businesses as previous presidents had done.
Records related to 40 Wall Street, the Trump International Hotel and Tower, 1290 Avenue of the Americas and Trump Tower were reviewed and the first two were found to have these major discrepancies. Both were also refinanced during the 2015/16 election cycle.
This is not the first time Trump has been accused of misrepresenting the value of his buildings. A New York Times report alleged the same practice with regard to his parents’ properties. Trump has refused to release his tax returns to the public, becoming the first president not to do so since Richard Nixon started the practice.
ProPublica has provided an exhaustive report on the documents and Trump’s history of manipulating real estate figures.