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Letitia James Claims that Trump Inflated His Net Worth by $2.2 Billion

With four criminal indictments against him and a defamation case brought by E. Jean Carroll coming up in January, Donald Trump has plenty to think about in his copious free time. Now something else has popped up. New York AG Letitia James has been quietly investigating whether Trump committed fraud when he told banks how much his property was worth and told property tax assessors how little it was worth.

Yesterday, James filed a motion in court asking for a summary judgment in the case she is working on. She claims that the disparity between what Trump's property was worth and what he claimed it was worth was $2.2 billion. In her filing she wrote: "Based on the undisputed evidence, no trial is required for the court to determine that defendants presented grossly and materially inflated asset values in the (statements of financial condition) and then used those SFCs repeatedly in business transactions to defraud banks and insurers." Oops.

Just as one example, Trump said he could develop his Mar-a-Lago estate as a bunch of single-family homes and sell them for an aggregate amount in the range $347-730 million. This ignores the inconvenient fact that zoning regulations would never permit this, as it is zoned for a private club and golf course and his battles with the Palm Beach City Council are legendary.

The suit is not only against Trump, but also against his adult sons, Don Jr. and Eric. Barron's not old enough to get in on the grifting... yet. It is a civil suit, so even if the judge finds against Trump, he won't go to prison. But he could be hit with a multimillion-dollar fine. James has been working quietly on the case for years, but it looks like she is getting close to going to trial. Since this is a state case—and not even a criminal one at that—even if Trump is elected president he couldn't make this one go away. He is in for a heap of trouble, with three Black women (James, Fani Willis, and Tanya Chutkan) at the center of it. That's gotta make him extra angry. (V)

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