Report Reveals New Evidence Of Trump Tax Fraud

ProPublica published a bombshell report indicating Trump businesses misrepresented their earnings to tax officials and lenders. This fits a pattern.
Donald Trump, accompanied by his family, at news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York Wednesday Jan. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump, accompanied by his family, at news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York Wednesday Jan. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

There’s a reason President Trump’s finances have always been his “red line.” Trump’s history of fraud has been public and brazen. On Wednesday, ProPublica published a report adding yet another piece of evidence to the mountain of bank and tax fraud evidence known to the public. The report highlights documents they received which reveal Donald Trump’s businesses downplayed profits to New York tax officials and exaggerated them to lenders:

Documents obtained by ProPublica show stark differences in how Donald Trump’s businesses reported some expenses, profits and occupancy figures for two Manhattan buildings, giving a lender different figures than they provided to New York City tax authorities. The discrepancies made the buildings appear more profitable to the lender — and less profitable to the officials who set the buildings’ property tax.

For instance, Trump told the lender that he took in twice as much rent from one building as he reported to tax authorities during the same year, 2017. He also gave conflicting occupancy figures for one of his signature skyscrapers, located at 40 Wall Street.

A dozen real estate professionals told ProPublica they saw no clear explanation for multiple inconsistencies in the documents. The discrepancies are “versions of fraud,” said Nancy Wallace, a professor of finance and real estate at the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley. “This kind of stuff is not OK.”

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These documents appear to confirm behavior similar to what President Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen (and campaign finance violation co-conspirator) testified to in February. A line of questioning from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) garnered the revelation. Cohen testified that Trump inflated his assets to insurance companies and may have committed tax evasion. Cohen also told the Committee that Donald Trump inflated the worth of his assets in an effort to obtain a loan from Deutsche Bank to buy the Buffalo Bills.

Trump has a documented history of fraudulent behavior. The New York Times reported that Donald Trump received, at least, the equivalent of $413 million from his father’s real estate empire and used shady methods, sometimes constituting fraud, to funnel the money to himself. There are also allegations of money laundering for Russian oligarchs through the sale of overvalued properties. And one cannot forget that Donald Trump paid a $25 million settlement for defrauding customers with Trump University – a payment made after winning the presidency.

All of this evidence bolsters the case House Democrats have for seeking to obtain President Trump’s tax records. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. recently won a court case in his pursuit of documents related to Trump’s hush-money payments of Karen McDougal. Also, the DC Court of Appeals ruled that the House Committee on Oversight and Reform can get financial records from Trump’s accounting firm. Of course, Trump will appeal all of these up to the Supreme Court.

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New York Attorney General Letitia James subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank earlier this year, to which they are reportedly complying. Other banks have handed over documents subpoenaed by the House Finance Committee and House Intelligence Committees. While we’re on the subject of Trump’s finances, we have to talk about the IRS.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has been actively violating the law by withholding President Trump’s tax returns from House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA). There has been new reporting that makes this behavior more stunning – the IRS whistleblower. We’ve known about the existence of this whistleblower for a couple of months thanks to a lawsuit Chairman Neal filed, but The Washington Post reported the first details:

An Internal Revenue Service ­official has filed a whistleblower complaint reporting that he was told that at least one Treasury Department political appointee attempted to improperly interfere with the annual audit of the president’s or vice president’s tax returns, according to multiple people familiar with the document.

It can be quite hard to compartmentalize all of the corrupt behavior on the part of President Trump. Keep an eye on this beat.

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News // Donald Trump / Journalism / Tax Fraud / Trump Finances