Donald Trump's mansion in Bedford, New York, which he purchased in 1995 for $7.5 million, proved to be a good investment: by 2013, the home was assessed at $18.9 million. Four years later, its value was pegged at $19.6 million. As part of his presidential financial disclosure forms, Trump recently valued the home inside the range of $25 million and $50 million.This is the type of thing even the most simple of citizens can understand: common fraud. The truly uber-wealthy have no need to fraudulently exaggerate their net worths when applying for loans or seeking insurance policies. Only those who are actually unable to service their debt obligations tend to try such illicit subterfuge when trying to gaslight lenders and insurers and it's almost a 100% certainty that this example is not the only one and scores are likely to be found once investigators start taking a closer look.
But this week, Michael Cohen shed new light on the president's finances specifically Trump's financial statements from earlier this decade, when the future president's assets were allegedly exaggerated for a variety of specific purposes.
For example, Trump inflated his wealth to Deutsche Bank when seeking a loan. According to Cohen, he also exaggerated his assets to mislead insurance companies. And in the case of his mansion in Westchester County, according to documents produced by Cohen, Trump briefly valued the property at $291 million in 2012.
That's not a typo. In 1995, he bought the home for $7.5 million, and in 2013, it assessed at $18.9 million, but in between, Trump said it was worth $291 million. He soon after changed his mind and put its value at a less ridiculous figure.
So what explains that radical, one-year exaggeration? Trump, according to Cohen's materials and testimony, used inflated figures like these to deceive financial institutions for his benefit.
And if the evidence is correct, and the president tried to perpetrate a fraud against financial institutions, that could be a felony for which the statute of limitations has not expired.
I said it years ago and many more are each and every day because it's patently obvious that the Trump Organization will be hit with RICO charges for the volume and breadth of their criminal activities that lie at the base of their normal business practices. Now that the threads have been revealed and confirmed by the documents Cohen shared in public it's just a matter of time before the SDNY lowers the boom on Trump and his family business and strips whatever meager assets they actually have remaining compared to their likely mounting debt service obligations.