During the civil business fraud trial against former President Donald Trump on Tuesday, October 10, a 1994 document emerged, signed by Trump himself, disclosing the actual size of his Trump Tower penthouse.
Newsmax reports that contrary to the 30,000 square feet claimed for years on financial statements, the document pegs the triplex at 10,996 square feet.
This evidence, presented by Allen Weisselberg, the former finance chief of Trump’s company, raises questions about the accuracy of Trump’s financial disclosures.
Weisselberg, a key witness in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit, testified that he had seen the email containing this attachment but hadn’t paid significant attention to it, considering the apartment’s value as relatively small in comparison to Trump’s vast wealth.
He further revealed that even if he had been aware of the size discrepancy, he may not have deemed it noteworthy to share with the outside accountants handling Trump’s financial statements.
The former chief financial officer stated that he didn’t recall discussing the financial statements with Trump during their finalization.
Instead, he emphasized Trump’s meticulous attention to property descriptions, viewing them as marketing tools for potential investors.
Weisselberg’s testimony shed light on Trump’s reaction to media scrutiny regarding the penthouse size in 2016.
When Forbes questioned the discrepancy, a company spokesperson relayed Weisselberg’s instruction not to engage on the matter.
Nevertheless, Trump’s 2016 financial statement was ultimately released with the incorrect square footage.
This trial focused on allegations of conspiracy, insurance fraud, and falsifying business records, which could have substantial implications for Trump’s financial empire.
New York Attorney General Letitia James seeks $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump conducting business in New York.
The judge’s pretrial ruling last month determined that Trump and his associates inflated the value of his assets and net worth on financial statements, constituting years of fraud.
As a result, a court-appointed receiver may take control of some Trump companies, casting uncertainty on the future oversight of iconic properties like Trump Tower.
Weisselberg’s association with the Trump family spans back to 1973 when he answered an ad for a staff accountant position with Fred Trump, Donald Trump’s real estate developer father.
After joining Donald Trump’s team in 1986, Weisselberg eventually earned an annual salary and bonuses totaling $1.14 million.
Following a recent jail stint for tax evasion related to perks received while working for Trump, Weisselberg testified that the past few years have taken a toll on him and his family.
He disclosed that he sought therapy and took a generic form of Valium to aid in his reaction to society.
In a deposition earlier this year, Trump expressed sympathy for Weisselberg, acknowledging the challenges he faced.
The trial’s outcome could significantly impact Trump’s financial standing and future business ventures.