Trump insurance broker subpoenaed following allegations of asset inflation in Cohen testimony

Trump insurance broker subpoenaed following allegations of asset inflation in Cohen testimony

Cohen alleged Trump inflated the value of 40 Wall Street

March 05, 2019 06:23PM

Donald Trump and Michael Cohen (Credit: Getty images and iStock)

The New York State Department of Financial Services subpoenaed insurer Aon following allegations made by former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen about the president’s previous business practices.

At a congressional hearing last week in Washington, Cohen said Trump inflated the value of his assets to insurance companies, as well as to Deutsche Bank.

Explaining how Trump did this, Cohen used the 40 Wall Street office tower as an example.

“Find an asset that is comparable, find the highest price per square foot that’s achieved in the area and apply it to that building,” Cohen said. “Or, if you’re going by the rent roll, you go by the gross rent roll times a multiple — and you make up the multiple, which is something he had talked about — and it’s based upon what he wanted to value the asset at.”

The New York Times reported that while DOFS has no criminal legal powers, it can refer potential criminal findings to prosecutors. The nine-page subpoena served on Aon requests “a broad range of materials regarding Aon’s business with Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization dating back to 2009,” a source familiar with the investigation told the Times.

An Aon spokesperson told the Times the company plans to cooperate with the investigation

The Aon subpoena is the latest indication that federal and state investigations that began looking for evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia are increasingly focusing their attention on Trump’s business practices. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), chair of the House Oversight Committee, has said he will “probably” ask Trump Organization CEO Allen Weisselberg to testify about hush money payments made to two women during the campaign, as well as other Trump business dealings.

In 2017, DOFS was reported to have been investigated Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank, but did not bring any actions or release its findings. [NYT] — Will Parker

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