How Exactly Donald Trump Inflated His Net Worth by 'Billions'—Letitia James

New York Attorney General Letitia James' office detailed each case in which Donald Trump allegedly misstated the value of his properties by billions of dollars while announcing a major fraud lawsuit against the former president.

In a press conference on Wednesday morning, James announced that she has filed a $250 million suit against Trump, three of his children—Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric Trump—and two senior executives at the Trump Organization.

James has been undertaking a long-running investigation into whether Trump fraudulently inflated or undervalued the value of his assets to get benefits such as better bank loans and reduced tax bills.

Trump and the Trump Organization are accused of "knowingly and intentionally" filing more than 200 false and misleading valuations of assets between 2011 and 2021 to defraud financial institutions.

Donald Trump Property
This combined image shows Trump Tower in Chicago, top left, an aerial view of the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, top right, Seven Springs, Mount Kisco, N.Y., bottom left, and Trump Tower in New York City, bottom right. Trump is pictured on a golf course, center. Getty

Among the properties are Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump Tower in New York and what was previously the Trump International hotel in Washington D.C.

Trump has denied the allegations and dismissed the lawsuit as "another witch hunt"

How Donald Trump Allegedly Inflated His Net Worth

Trump Park Avenue, New York, NY

Between 2011 and 2011, Trump listed the value of this asset at between $90.9 million and $350 million.

In July 2020, the Trump Organization received an appraisal with a value of $84.5 million, but in the 2020 Statement the Trump Organization valued Trump Park Avenue at $135.8 million.

Values of the unsold residential units at Trump Park Avenue, sometimes as high as 95 percent, made up a bulk of the value estimate, despite 12 of the units being rent-stabilized. An independent bank-ordered appraisal in 2010 valued the 12 rent-stabilized units at $750,000, but they were valued at nearly $50 million in 2011 and 2012 statements.

The value of Ivanka Trump's penthouses in Trump Park Avenue were also raised in statements. Her first one included an option to purchase the unit for $8.5 million but was valued at $20.8 million in 2011 and 2012 and $25 million in 2013. A second, larger unit was valued at $14.2 million, but was valued at $45 million on the 2014 statement.

Donald Trump's Triplex Apartment at Trump Tower, New York, NY

Trump allegedly valued his triplex apartment at $327 million in 2015 and 2016 financial statements, based on claims it was nearly 30,000 square feet in size, when it was actually 10,996 square feet.

James' office said the attempted value claim was "absurd" given the fact that at that point only one apartment in New York City had ever sold for even $100 million, at a price per square foot of less than $10,000. The record sale for an apartment at Trump Tower was $16.5 million at a price of less than $4,500 per square foot.

40 Wall Street, New York, NY

In November 2012, the Trump Organization received a bank-ordered appraisal of 40 Wall Street for $220 million, but it was valued at $527 million and $530 million in statements from that year and 2013.

Seven Springs, Westchester County, NY

The Trump Organization is also accused of inflating the value of the 212-acre estate, which Trump purchased in 1995 for $7.5 million

The property was valued at up to $291 million in statements from 2011 to 2021 based on a proposed plan to build nine luxury homes on the property generating a supposed $161 million of profit. However, James said these values were a "fiction" and "totally unsupported by the development history of the property and contradicted by every professional valuation done on the property."

In 2016, an independent valuation concluded the estate was worth $56 million.

Niketown, New York, NY

Trump is alleged to have provided multiple false and misleading representations of the retail space he owns next to Trump Tower between 2011 and 2019, including basing valuation on independent evaluations which were never actually carried out. Trump's valuation is also said not to have taken into account the certainty of substantially increased rental expenses.

When the escalating scheduled rent expenses were factored into the 2020 and 2021 valuations of Niketown, the property's reported value dropped from the mid-$400 million range to the $225-$250 million range.

Trump International Hotel and Tower, Las Vegas, Nevada

Trump is alleged to have repeatedly submitted lower property valuation estimates to Nevada tax authorities regarding his Las Vegas hotel, and higher property valuations on his statements. For example, in 2015, the Trump Organization submitted a $24.9 million valuation to contest taxes being levied by Nevada tax authorities, but listed the property value at $107 million in his statements after allegedly using fraudulent methods.

Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, Florida

Trump's Florida home was valued as high as $739 million based on the premise that it was unrestricted property and could be developed for residential use. The lawsuit claims that the resort should have been valued at closer to $75 million.

Trump International Golf Links Scotland (Aberdeen)

In 2014, Donald Trump valued his Aberdeenshire golf club in Scotland at $327 million. However, this valuation was said to have been reached on the assumption he had the right to build 2,500 luxury homes on the property, despite approval to build fewer than 1,500 holiday apartments and golf villas.

Trump National Golf Club, Jupiter

Trump purchased the Florida golf course for $5 million. Less than a year later, Trump valued the same property at $62 million on the 2013 statement.

Donald Trump Property
This combined image shows Donald Trump at a Save America rally on September 17, 2022, inset, and a general view of the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Trump is alleged to have repeatedly submitted lower property valuation estimates to Nevada tax authorities regarding the hotel and higher property valuations on his statements. Getty

Trump is also alleged to have increased values of a number of his other golf courses by treating them as fixed assets without factoring in any depreciation, as well as artificially increasing their value by claiming unsold memberships were more expensive and more common than they actually were.

For example, the valuation anticipated income of the Trump National Golf Club Westchester, in Briarcliff Manor, New York in 2011 was based on the assumption that new members would pay an initiation fee of nearly $200,000 for each of the 67 unsold memberships. However, many new members in that year paid no initiation fee at all and no new member in the previous year paid an initiation fee of more than $50,000.

Between 2013 and 2020, the Trump Organization added the value of refundable membership deposits, amounting to more than $4 million, to the purchase price of the Trump National Golf Course Charlotte in Mooresville, North Carolina.

The Trump Organization is also alleged to have included the $11.7 million full face value of membership deposits at the Trump National Golf Course Colts Neck, in Colts Neck, New Jersey to inflate the club's value to $40 million from 2012 to 2020.

In 2021, the Trump Organization changed how it valued the club resulting in a new valuation of $27.5 million.

Trump is also alleged to have received around $250 million in net profit after obtaining favorable loans using false and misleading statements

"For too long, powerful, wealthy people in this country have operated as if the rules do not apply to them. Donald Trump stands out as among the most egregious examples of this misconduct," James said in a statement.

"With the help of his children and senior executives at the Trump Organization, Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and cheat the system."

The Trump Organization has been contacted for comment.