During Donald Trump’s ongoing fraud trial, a witness described the former president’s financial records as “inappropriate and inaccurate” with Trump present in the courtroom.
The civil fraud case in question, amounting to $250 million, continues its proceedings in New York. The case originates from a 2022 New York Attorney General Letitia James lawsuit. The suit accuses Trump, alongside other Trump Organization executives, of exaggerating Trump’s net worth by billions in financial reports given to financial institutions and insurers, aiming to clinch deals and obtain loans.
Doug Larson, an appraiser whose name repeatedly emerged in Trump’s financial records over the years, delivered his testimony on Tuesday. Documents suggest that Trump’s property valuations, including those for 40 Wall Street, Trump Tower, and a retail zone dubbed “Niketown,” were based on several phone discussions with Larson.
However, Larson, formerly associated with the commercial real estate company Cushman & Wakefield, denied these conversations. Dan Alexander, an editor at Forbes, commented on X (previously known as Twitter), highlighting that while Larson was frequently named as a source in Trump Organization valuations, Larson refuted having such discussions, suggesting potential fabrications by the Trump Organization.
State attorney Mark Ladov subsequently inquired about Larson’s sentiments on documents attributing him as the valuation method’s source for the Niketown property, as reported by Law 360’s Stewart Bishop on X. Subsequent speculations by ABC News hinted that the valuation figures might have been derived from a generic email circulated by Larson to his clientele. Larson emphasized the necessity of official evaluations for such properties.
In his response, Larson labeled the document “inappropriate and inaccurate.” Besides rejecting claims of aiding the Trump Organization in property evaluations, he stressed that he was never informed about being cited as a reference.
Trump, present at the defense table, closely monitored the unfolding events. Stewart Bishop noted on X that “Trump sat between two lawyers, occasionally scrutinizing documents presented on a screen, reclining, or observing the interactions between Ladov and the witness.
Beyond the New York civil lawsuit, Trump is contending with 91 state and federal charges, all of which he denies—this year witnessed Trump’s indictment on four separate occasions, including charges related to “hush money” payments in Manhattan, alleged mishandling of confidential documents, and accusations connected to election interference in both Washington, D.C., and Georgia.
Presiding over the civil trial, Justice Arthur Engoron determined that there was evidence of the Trump Organization inflating its assets. The trial’s outcome will decide the penalties to be imposed. A successful prosecution could also prevent Trump and his sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., from operating businesses in New York.