Tax documents may be showing evidence of financial fraud
Newly uncovered tax documents from Donald Trump reveal ‘inconsistencies’
ProPublica reviewed documents that saw the numbers on some Trump properties appear more valuable to lenders and less valuable to tax authorities
One of the filings was made in 2017, after President Trump was already in office
Two judges in the last few weeks have ordered the president to turn over eight years of tax returns
An employee at the IRS has also blown the whistle on ‘inappropriate efforts to influence’ the audit of Trump’s tax returns along with the vice president’s returns
Tax documents relating to Donald Trump’s properties in New York City have been uncovered, with experts suggesting they could point to financial fraud
Previously unavailable Trump Tax Documents Show Major Inconsistencies, financial expert say. Tax documents relating to the president’s properties in New York City, experts suggest, could point to financial fraud.
Trump’s businesses made themselves appear more profitable to lenders and less profitable to tax officials. One expert called the differing numbers “versions of fraud,” ProPublica reports.
The documents were part of records detailing four Trump properties: The Trump International Hotel and Tower, 40 Wall Street, Trump Tower, and 1290 Avenue of the Americas.
The website claims that there are discrepancies in the tax records for 40 Wall Street and the Trump International Hotel and Tower which could raise concerns.
The numbers appear to show he gave different figures to lenders than NYC tax officials.
It says the differences made the properties look more valuable to lenders but less valuable to officials who set the building’s property tax.
ProPublica says that on one occasion in 2017, President Trump told a lender he received twice as much rent from one building than he reported to tax authorities.
‘It really feels like there’s two sets of books, one for lenders and one for tax investigators,’ said Kevin Riordan, a financing expert who reviewed the newly revealed tax records for the outlet.
‘It’s hard to argue numbers,’ Riordan said. ‘That’s black and white.’
One professor of finance said that at a very basic level the inconsistencies looked like ‘versions of fraud.’
The website noted that there can be legitimate reasons for differences between numbers on tax and loan documents – but some of the discrepancies had no reasonable justification.
Laura Feyer, deputy press secretary for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, told ProPublica: ‘The city is looking into this property [Trump International Hotel and Tower], and if there has been any under-reporting, we will take appropriate action.’
Trump broke a relatively recent tradition by not publishing his income tax returns as he ran for president as a major party nominee.
He claims he is unable to release his tax returns because they are under audit.
There is no specific law that prevents his tax returns from being released, even if being audited.
But in a 2-1 ruling last week, judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said House Democrats can enforce a subpoena for the documents.
The ruling upholds a lower court’s decision, leaving the president’s attorneys with few ways to block his accountants, Mazars LLP, from complying with the House Oversight Committee’s demands.
Trump could ask for a new decision from the full D.C. Circuit appeals court. That typical next step would leave him with only the U.S. Supreme Court as a last resort if he loses again.
An administration official with knowledge of the case said Friday that Trump will ‘in all likelihood be headed to the Supreme Court for [legal] relief.’
Last year it was reported that Trump managed to use a ‘series of dubious tax schemes’ to shield a $400 million inheritance from the IRS.
An investigative report conducted last month by Mother Jones found that Trump might have fabricated a ‘self-loan’ to avoid paying $50 million in income taxes.
And in August, a federal employee told the Ways and Means Committee of possible evidence of ‘improper influence’ in the IRS’s audit of Trump’s tax returns
Trump says he will not release taxes while they’re under audit.