We know this is going to be hard for you to believe, but President Liar Pants lies a lot. For example, while on the campaign trail, Donald Trump repeatedly promised to release his tax returns, but now that he’s “elected,” he’s been facing legal battles in order to keep his financial documents secret FOR SOME REA$ON. It was only a matter of time before Trump’s tax discrepancies were exposed.
ProPublica, using New York’s Freedom of Information Law, found that Trump’s “businesses made themselves appear more profitable to lenders and less profitable to tax officials.” The outlet cited an expert who called the differing numbers “versions of fraud.”
The profits and occupancy figures for two of Trump’s Manhattan buildings offer a stark contrast to reality as a lender was given different numbers than they provided to New York City tax authorities. What happened here shows a clear case of fraud as the discrepancies “made the buildings appear more profitable to the lender — and less profitable to the officials who set the buildings’ property tax.”
These are things that if any of us poor slobs were caught lying about on tax forms would get us in a ton of trouble with the Internal Revenue Service.
The lender that was cited was told by Trump that he took in twice as much rent from one building as he reported to tax authorities during the same year, 2017. Also, Trump reportedly gave conflicting occupancy figures for one of his signature skyscrapers that is located at 40 Wall Street.
ProPublica spoke to a dozen real estate professionals who could not offer an explanation for the multiple inconsistencies in Trump’s 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.'”
Lock him up!
New York City’s property tax forms state that the person signing them ‘affirms the truth of the statements made’ and that ‘false filings are subject to all applicable civil and criminal penalties.'”
“It really feels like there’s two sets of books — it feels like a set of books for the tax guy and a set for the lender,” Kevin Riordan, a financing expert and real estate professor at Montclair State University, told the outlet. “It’s hard to argue numbers. That’s black and white.”
Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney who is now in prison, told Congress that the former reality show star had adjusted figures in order to obtain loans and avoid taxes. “It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes,” Cohen said during his testimony, “and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.”
Trump portrayed a rapid rise in occupancy in his buildings when the opposite was true as he faced difficulties in securing loans due to his history of bankruptcies. But, due to Trump’s fraudulent reporting on his occupancies, he ended up receiving a 10-year loan with a lower interest rate than the building previously paid.
Then, he ran into “trouble”:
Once granted, the loan to 40 Wall Street ran into trouble: The year after it went through, the loan servicer put it on a ‘watch list’ because of concerns that the building wasn’t making sufficient profit to pay the debt service with enough of a margin.”
Trump either committed bank fraud or tax fraud. Take your pick. It’s not like we didn’t realize this when Trump decided to throw his campaign promise aside while opting for secrecy but now we have the receipts, and really, we always did have them.
In 2016, the New York Times reported that on his 1995 tax return, Trump declared a loss of $916 million — and that could have allowed the alleged billionaire who we’ve all suspected of being up to his eyeballs in debt to avoid paying taxes for almost the next two decades.
Trump believes that a sitting president is above the law, but New York authorities will be all over this.
Featured image via screen capture
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