Newly Unearthed Documents Show Trump Companies Gave Different Accounts Of Success To Tax Collectors, Lenders
Documents obtained by the investigative journalism website ProPublica demonstrate that companies owned by President Donald Trump have tried to tell different stories about their successes, depending on whether they were speaking to lenders or tax collectors.
When it came to trying to court lending institutions into providing them a loan, Trump’s companies typically indicated they were performing better than what they had written down in tax documents, the report from ProPublica showed. In one example from 2017, Trump’s companies told a lender it was collecting twice as much rent as it had reported on its tax forms.
Another discrepancy highlighted by the muckraking website showed that the company hyped a Trump-owned skyscraper as having a 95 percent occupancy rate when it was trying to obtain a loan. In tax documents, however, the Trump Organization described the same building as having an 81 percent occupancy rate.
The reporting seems to confirm testimony given by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former “fixer” lawyer, from earlier this year. While speaking before Congress, Cohen claimed Trump often “inflated” his properties’ values and his own worth when it suited his needs — including when he was trying to obtain a loan to purchase the Buffalo Bills NFL football team, the New York Times reported.
ProPublica obtained Trump tax records that appear to back up former Trump fixer Michael Cohen's testimony that Trump falsely inflated his real estate assets to obtain loans and falsely deflated them to avoid property taxes. AKA tax fraud. https://t.co/XJfpUFVFSi
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) October 16, 2019
It is a crime to provide false information to lenders in order to obtain a loan, and it goes without saying that tax fraud is also a crime.
Two congressional committees have been seeking Trump’s tax records in order to determine whether he’s engaged in criminal actions, as has the district attorney in Manhattan.
Earlier this month, a judge ruled that the Manhattan DA must be given tax records he subpoenaed from Mazars USA, the accounting firm used by Trump, despite the president’s efforts to keep them sealed. In a separate court case, the U.S. Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit ruled Trump must also allow those documents to be attained by the congressional committees. Both cases are likely to be appealed by Trump’s team of lawyers.