President Donald Trump has been caught with huge discrepancies on some of his financial filings that suggest the possibility of fraud. POLITICO reports that “according to documents filed with the Office of Government Ethics in which he is supposed to list his personal income,” the president has “claimed his two resorts in Scotland brought in a total of about $116 million in revenue between 2014 and 2018” — but those figures do not reflect the financial realities of those businesses that were reported to U.K. authorities. The revenue level that Trump claimed to U.S. authorities for his golf resort in Ireland flatly did not match the level that was reported to local authorities, either.
In the Ireland case, Trump claimed in U.S. filings that Trump Doonbeg — the Ireland golf resort — “brought in at least $10.7 million each year in revenue, totaling $62.7 million, between 2014 and 2018,” POLITICO reports. However, according to his company’s filings in Ireland, Trump Doonbeg’s revenues totaled just about $46 million between 2014 and 2018, and the resort reported losses totaling $12 million across that timeframe. That’s a difference in reported revenue alone of $16.7 million — which definitely does not seem like a mere clerical error.
As for the two Scotland courses, although, as mentioned, Trump claimed in U.S. filings that the resorts brought in collective revenue of about $116 million between 2014 and 2018, in filings with the U.K. government, the Trump Organization reported the total revenue at about $106 million — and, crucially, those same filings reveal that the two resorts lost a total of about $65 million across that timeframe. Discussing his two Scotland resorts, POLITICO reports that “Turnberry, which Trump visited in 2018, and Aberdeen have not reported a profit for at least five years, according to the U.K. records.” On his U.S. filings, Trump “always appears to list his company’s revenue” rather than his own, and he does so without apparently “taking into account expenses or debt, allowing him to hide his company’s losses and his actual income.”
American Democracy Legal Fund President Brad Woodhouse commented:
‘Our research has uncovered numerous examples of the Trump Organization reporting potentially fraudulent financial details to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics in addition to apparent inconsistencies, misstatements, and lies in President Trump’s annual financial disclosure filings regarding its overseas golf courses.’
In light of the controversy, Woodhouse’s organization is sending letters to Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance and the FBI requesting investigations into the president’s apparent fraud. The fraud could, theoretically, serve a number of purposes for the president, from that of propping up his ego and public image to that of concealing his true financial state, which could help conceal how vulnerable that he actually might be to financial manipulation.
Trump’s tax returns could help answer some of these questions, but he’s long worked to hide those from the public eye — although Vance has been fighting in court to get access to the material. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Trump did not have automatic immunity to a subpoena from Vance just because he’s the president — which, yes, is actually an argument that the president’s team raised.