At a congressional hearing in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, former Trump Organization attorney Michael Cohen testified that President Trump purposely inflated the values of his New York real estate holdings in order to obtain a loan from Deutsche Bank.
The requested loan was connected to an attempt to acquire the Buffalo Bills football team and the Forbes media company, Cohen said.
As one example of the value exaggerations, Cohen cited 40 Wall Street, which in exhibits presented to the committee Trump pegged at $524.7 million in 2011. Cohen said Trump used comparable figures from similar properties, which is typical industry practice, but that ultimately the value “was based upon what [Trump] wanted to value the asset at”
In fact, the Trump Organization obtained an official appraisal from Cushman & Wakefield for 40 Wall Street in 2015, in a similar amount ($540 million), which it then used to sell mortgage-backed securities. The Morningstar credit ratings agency, however, assessed the value in a pre-sale report and cut it by more than half, to just $262.3 million, after adjusting for millions in annual rent concessions and and leasing fees.
Cohen, who was sentenced to three years in prison for previously lying to Congress, was disbarred by the State of New York this week.
Stay tuned for updates.