Reich, Fraud in a high place

Ocean Club
He also cheated Panama on taxes when he had an interest in what was the Trump Ocean Club, the building with the curve here. Photo by Eric Jackson.

A blatant fraudster occupies the highest office in the land

by Robert Reich

Newly released documents reveal major inconsistencies between metrics Trump reported to New York City property tax officials and metrics he reported to lenders who were financing his signature building, Trump Tower in Manhattan. This is the third major Trump property that has reported differing numbers to tax officials versus lenders. In the most recent case at Trump Tower, the occupancy rate was listed as 11, 16, and 16 percentage points higher to a lender over three consecutive years than to New York City tax officials.

So why does this matter? Reporting different occupancy rates makes the property appear more profitable to the lender, and less profitable to city tax officials — i.e., it’s a form of fraud. As described in congressional testimony by Michael Cohen, this follows a pattern in which Trump falsely makes his properties appear more profitable to lenders in order to secure loans, and then makes them appear less so in order to reduce the property taxes he owes. The laundry list of Trump’s illegal and corrupt business practices continues to grow. It is an utter disgrace that a blatant fraudster occupies the highest office in the land.


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