Trump Caught In Financial Disclosure Form Fraud Scandal

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Even while serving as president of the United States, Donald Trump remains wrapped up in his money — and it’s not going well. According to new data that’s emerged in HuffPost, Trump has been lying on his U.S. financial disclosure forms about the financial state of his two golf resorts in Scotland. He’s pegged their values at an apparent whopping level of $165 million higher than they’re actually at.

In the United Kingdom, his business is required to submit yearly financial disclosure forms, which for the Turnberry and Aberdeen courses revealed a struggling business that was about $65 million in the red overall, when comparing debt to assets. At the same time in the U.S., Trump was claiming on his 2018 financial disclosure forms that the courses were worth about $100 million, split about evenly between the two properties. More acutely, Trump claimed on those same 2018 forms that the two courses earned him income of about $23.8 million — but again, the courses actually lost about $6.3 million.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington’s Virginia Canter shared:

‘The numbers don’t appear to add up… it’s not at all clear after reviewing the U.K. balance sheet for Aberdeen how they came to $50 million… I think it raises legitimate questions.’

Lying on federal financial disclosure forms is punishable by jailtime. “Knowingly providing false or incomplete information on that form” could earn an offender up to a year in jail, and signing the form vouching for the false information is a separate offense, which can earn offenders up to five years in prison. Although it’s not like he’s gone to jail over the offense, Trump has actually done it before — in the first financial disclosure form he filed as president in early 2017, he did not disclose that he owed $130,000 to his then-fixer Michael Cohen for an hush money attempt at keeping adult film star Stormy Daniels quiet about an affair with Trump. The transaction did appear on his 2018 forms.

Although there are still more details to uncover in this situation, Trump has a documented penchant for lying about his business state outside of even these two examples. Cohen himself brought evidence to the House Oversight Committee of Trump inflating his assets throughout dealings with potential business partners in the years before Trump embarked into politics. The Oversight panel is currently investigating this issue, with a subpoena out to Trump’s longtime personal accounting firm Mazars USA that Trump has fought in court.

The financial lies fit into a pattern of Trump relentlessly attempting to prop up his public image, at least in the eyes of those who already support him. To that end, he’s broken with decades of precedent and refused to release his tax returns, like every other president has done for the past several decades.

Before the 2016 election took place, he claimed that his personal net worth was more than $10 billion — but there’s no evidence of this. A large portion of the claimed value came from an arbitrary value he placed on his last name alone. Throughout that same period, he was also apparently lying about the values of his Scottish golf courses, claiming in 2016 (like he did more recently) that they sat around $100 million overall. At the same time, he was telling the British government that the courses were a combined $32.1 million in the red.

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