His looming impeachment is arguably the least of Donald Trump’s problems.
Once he’s out of the White House, he must contend with a fraudulent financial situation that could land him in prison.
On Tuesday, the New York-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled Deutsche Bank and Capital One have one week to begin turning over Trump’s financial information.
The court’s 106-page ruling states:
“[The House Intelligence and House Financial Services Committees‘] interests in pursuing their constitutional legislative function is a far more significant public interest than whatever public interest inheres in avoiding the risk of a chief executive’s distraction arising from disclosure of documents reflecting his private financial transactions.”
In April, the House Intelligence and House Financial Services Committees subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump’s financial documents as part of their investigation into Russian money laundering and potential foreign influence involving the president.
This is the third time a federal appeals court upheld subpoenas for Trump’s financial records.
ProPublica reported documents revealing Trump may be committing bank and tax fraud by inflating property values on loan applications, claiming lower values on his taxes.
According to ProPublica:
“Donald Trump’s business reported conflicting information about a key metric to New York City property tax officials and a lender who arranged financing for his signature building, Trump Tower in Manhattan.
“More than a dozen tax and finance experts, presented with ProPublica’s earlier findings, also said they could not decipher a reason for the differences. As with Trump Tower, the discrepancies made the two properties—a skyscraper located at 40 Wall Street and the Trump International Hotel and Tower near Columbus Circle—appear more profitable to the lender and less so to property tax officials.
“Those discrepancies were ‘versions of fraud,’ according to Nancy Wallace, a professor of finance and real estate at the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley. The penalties for false filings can include fines or criminal charges.”
According to a prospectus for the bank loan, as of December 2011, Trump’s business claimed 99% of Trump Tower’s commercial space was occupied; in June 2012, it claimed 98.7%
Tax filings in January 2012, though, state the building’s occupancy was 83%. They were apparently the same the next year.
That year is significant because it was then Trump refinanced his share of Trump Tower for $100 million.
Susan Mancuso, an attorney who specializes in New York property tax, said the 16-percentage gap is a “very significant difference.”
The Trump company states it and its affiliates occupied 31% of the tower in mid-2012.
However, tax reports from the previous January on claim the Trump Organization and related parties occupy only about 18%.
Financial expert, former accountant, and Montclair State University real estate professor Kevin Riordan reviewed the tax and loan records for Trump Tower, and he could not explain them.
He is not the only baffled professional.
Over a dozen tax and finance experts are unable to interpret the disparities between what Trump reported to banks and what he reported to tax officials pertaining to properties at 40 Wall Street and the Trump International Hotel and Tower near Columbus Circle.
Last month, New York Supreme Court Judge Saliann Scarpulla ordered Trump pay two million dollars to settle a claim he used his theoretically eleemosynary Donald J. Trump Foundation as a savings account for personal and political interests–including his own run for the White House.
This comes nearly a year after the foundation agreed to dissolve under judicial supervision and relinquish any remaining money to approved charities like the United Way, the United Negro College Fund, and the Holocaust Museum.
In January 2016, Trump reveled in the controversy he created over a feud with Fox News that motivated him to skip a planned Iowa debate and alternatively hold a charity for veterans.
That event raised $2.8 million dollars, yet documents filed with the Trump Foundation lawsuit prove no veterans ever received a penny of it.
It went instead toward the Trump campaign.
He must also reimburse the foundation $11,525 for charity auction items–“sports paraphernalia”–like a signed Tim Tebow football helmet, and champagne.
Maybe it’s because New York is assiduously pursuing the grift upon which Donald Trump has predicated his financial life.
In September, Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance subpoenaed eight years of Trump’s tax returns as part of the investigation into hush-money payments Trump paid to women, including adult film actor Stormy Daniels, during the 2016 presidential election.
In October, a New York federal appeals court ruled Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, must turn over to Congress eight years of personal and business tax returns, refuting Trump’s claim he is immune from criminal investigations.
Not only does Trump hope to be re-elected to retain his power.
He is trying to stay out of jail.
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