ProPublica Sees Conflicting Figures in Trump Tax Records - Page 2
Relating to two Trump Organization properties in NYC
- 40 Wall Street: The standout figures relate to occupancy. ProPublica explains the building was stuck charging below-market rents in the years after 9/11. "Trump’s representatives needed to demonstrate signs of the building’s financial health if they wanted a new loan with a lower interest rate." They apparently did this by citing figures showing the building was 58.9% occupied on Dec. 31, 2012, but, years later, had hit 95%. The rent surge hadn't yet been realized, they explained, due to free-rent lease deals, but they projected it would come in 2015. As of 2018, profits have remained below expectations. The tax documents state the building was 81% leased as of Jan. 5, 2013.
- Trump International Hotel and Tower: Loan officials were told the commercial space rented out in 2017 brought in $1.67 million; tax documents put that figure at $822,000. That was one of 8 years of data ProPublica had. It reports the figures given to tax officials were on average 81% of what was stated to the lender.
- So what does all this mean? The dozen real estate professionals ProPublica spoke with said there can be valid reasons for such discrepancies, but these particularly discrepancies struck some of them as odd. One expert's take: They're "versions of fraud."
- Not so fast: New York Magazine points to a Twitter thread by legal expert Renato Mariotti, who read the article and writes the discrepancies "are troubling and merit investigation ... but if lawyers or 'legal experts' tell you that these discrepancies in and of themselves prove bank fraud or tax charges, they are misleading you." Read his whole thread for a solid explainer of what is needed to prove tax or bank fraud.
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