NY attorney general asks for summary judgment that Trump's "inflated wealth" a lie in lender fraud case

Former president Donald Trump inflated his wealth by more than $2bn, according to a court filing, as part of his alleged scheme to defraud lenders. New York Attorney General Letitia James wants the judge in the case to issue summary judgment that the value of his real estate holdings was vastly lower than he claimed, before her office's $250m lawsuit against him proceeds.

In 2014, Trump claimed on his statements of financial condition to be holding $6.7 billion in assets — but the attorney general's office said in Wednesday's filing that figure overstated Trump's actual net worth that year by more than $2.2 billion.

"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 SFCs and then used those SFCs repeatedly in business transactions to defraud banks and insurers," the filing said.

The attorney general's filing Wednesday said Trump valued his Florida Mar-a-Lago estate "as if it could be sold as a private single family residence for amounts ranging between $347 million to $739 million." The filing said those figures ignored limitations placed on how the property could be developed.

After attending one deposition only to plead the fifth to every substantive question, it transpires he complied in April and answered them at length. The transcript is a stream of gibberish like this:

"We have properties that make money, but you can sell for many, many times because of the quality of the property, like a Turnberry in Scotland. I could sell that. That's like selling a painting. A painting on a wall that sells for $250 million and doesn't make income. It just sits on a wall, but it sells for numbers. I have — literally, I have some of the greatest pieces of property in the world and they sell — as Mar-a-Lago, some of the things I own in Europe, some of the things I own in New York, even like at Trump Towers, 57th and Fifth, it's the best location. I have great assets."

Details like "Two apartments leased by Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, were valued at amounts two to three times the price at which she had the contractual option to purchase the units" sound like the sort of thing that win quick settlements from normal defendants, but … this is not a normal defendant.