The New York Attorney General has subpoenaed a bank used by President
The office of Attorney General Letitia James is asking Deutsche Bank for documents relating to financing of three Trump hotels and the attempt to secure a loan to buy the Bills, according to the
It has reportedly been prompted by longtime Trump lawyer Michael Cohen testifying before congress that the President routinely ‘inflated’ valuations of his property empire, including in financial statements provided to Deutsche Bank.
The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, pictured earlier this year, has reportedly subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for documents relating to financing of three Trump hotels and the attempt to secure a loan to buy the Buffalo Bills in 2014
Cohen handed over internal Trump financial valuations from 2011 through 2013 – including documents he said were used to try to obtain a loan to purchase the Buffalo Bills football team in 2014 – to the House Oversight Committee.
Cohen’s valuations show a sudden jump in Trump’s self-proclaimed worth, from $4.6 billion in 2012 to $8.7 billion a year later, when he was angling to buy the team.
‘These documents and others were provided to Deutsche Bank on one occasion where I was with them in our attempt to obtain money so that we can put a bid on the Buffalo Bills,’ Cohen testified at the House Oversight Committee.
‘I believe these numbers are inflated,’ the former fixer said of the valuations generally.
At the time of Cohen’s s congressional testimony, experts said a criminal case against Trump appears unlikely for several reasons, and according to the New York Times, the attorney general’s investigation is civil – not criminal.
Donald Trump tried and failed to buy the NFL team Buffalo Bills in 2014, and had sought a loan from Deutsche Bank to do so
The investigation is said to have been prompted by longtime Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, testifying before congress that the President routinely ‘inflated’ valuations of his property empire
Deutsche Bank has been subpoenaed for ‘loan applications, mortgages, lines of credit and other financing transactions in connection with the Trump International Hotel in Washington DC; the Trump National Doral outside Miami; and the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago’, the newspaper reported.
The statute of limitations- five years for most federal offenses – could preclude a prosecution. Trump could theoretically face criminal bank fraud charges if prosecutors could prove Trump intended to deceive with financial statements and that the bank relied on those figures, said John Coffee, a law professor at Columbia University.
The Justice Department, however, has held since 1973 that prosecuting a sitting president is unconstitutional.
Deutsche Bank have reportedly been told to hand over documents relating to the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, Illinois
Deutsche Bank has been subpoenaed for ‘loan applications, mortgages, lines of credit and other financing transactions’ in connection with three of Donald Trump’s hotels, including the Trump International Hotel in Washington DC
Banks are skeptical of estimates of personal wealth, and Trump was well known for inflating the value of his assets. Trump once admitted in a deposition that his net worth calculations depend partly on ‘my own feelings.’
Brand value is part of what accountants call ‘goodwill’ and is difficult to value. Companies frequently adjust goodwill because their estimates are so flawed. In 2017, publicly traded companies in the U.S. admitted they overestimated ‘goodwill’ by $35 billion, according to the advisory firm Duff & Phelps.
While Trump said he could get $4 billion for his brand, Forbes pegged the value at just $125 million two years later.
Trump was one of three known finalists in the bid to purchase the Bills in the summer of 2014 following the death of franchise founder and Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson. He lost out to the owners of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, Terry and Kim Pegula, who purchased the Bills for $1.4 billion. The third group was led by rocker Jon Bon Jovi.
Deutsche Bank declined to comment when approached by MailOnline.