Deutsche Bank has emerged as the star witness in New York attorney general Letitia James’ case against Donald Trump and the Trump Organization.
In a suit filed last week, James accused Trump and his organization of defrauding the German investment bank and others by exaggerating the value of his properties. Deutsche Bank, which extended Trump hundreds of millions of dollars in loans for hotel and resort development projects in the past decade, is cooperating with her office’s investigation, James said at a press conference.
Read This: Alan Rickman’s diaries reveal his less-than-flattering opinions about <em>Harry Potter</em>
<em>Last Of Us </em>TV Show Gets Its First Full Trailer
‘The Most Ticketed Car Show in America’ Came to My Town and Two People Are Dead
UK Royals Force News Sites to Delete Embarrassing Video Clips
Hasbro’s Selfie Series Action Figures Will Be Available In the U.S. Starting Friday
The New York attorney general’s (NYAG) complaint describes an environment in which Trump was able to pass off faulty financial records as true, duping financial and government institutions in the process. Trump attorney Alina Habba called the lawsuit meritless, saying the NYAG was “neither focused on the facts nor the law.”
How Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank evolved
The Trump Organization had done business with Deutsche Bank since the 1990s, but the pivot point in their shared history came in 2011 when the company switched from the commercial real estate division of the bank to the private wealth management division, according to the complaint.
In September 2011, Jared Kushner introduced his brother-in-law Donald Trump Jr. to Rosemary Vrablic, a managing director and senior banker at Deutsche Bank. Over the next decade, Vrablic would become known as Trump’s “personal banker.” (Vrablic resigned in December 2020 along with fellow Deutsche Bank banker Dominic Scalzi after violating internal bank rules by personally investing in an apartment partially owned by Kushner, a client. Vrablic and Scalzi are currently barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or Finra, from acting as brokers. Scalzi is not named in the complaint.)
The Trump Organization sought a loan for its golf course in Doral, Florida. The commercial real estate division called it “a tough asset and our initial reaction was not enthusiastic,” the complaint says.
But after shopping the loan around to other banks, Vrablic offered the best loan: her division’s deal came with a 2% interest rate vs. the commercial real estate division’s offer of 8%. “It doesn’t get better than this,” Ivanka Trump said. The tradeoff was that Trump would personally have to guarantee the full amount of the loan—$125 million—and maintain a net worth of $2.5 billion and $50 million in unencumbered liquidity.
When he saw the terms of the loan agreement, Trump Organization finance chief Jason Greenblatt was taken aback, according to the complaint. “Is DJT willing to do that?” he asked Ivanka. “Also, the net worth covenants and DJT indebtedness limitations would seem to be a problem?”
Greenblatt added that the personal guarantee was a “highly risky proposition” and conflicted with what Trump had told him in the past, the complaint states. “Obviously this is not my decision, but this is completely inconsistent with what he told me he would ever do again.”
Who did Trump defraud?
Trump was able to obtain the Doral loan, like numerous others outlined in the complaint, in part due to his statements of financial condition, personal balance sheets that James alleges contained fraudulent misrepresentations of his wealth, property values, and assets. Among the allegations she cites: Trump allegedly lied about the size of his Manhattan apartment, over-counted expected golf club membership, and violated the terms of a conservation easement to inflate his estimated worth and secure favorable loans.
In the complaint, Deutsche Bank is cast as one of the primary victims of Trump’s alleged fraud. In a statement to Quartz, bank spokesperson Dylan Riddle said:
“We cannot comment on the details of current or former client accounts, nor the substance of legal claims based on certain facts that the NYAG, itself, has alleged were unknown or unavailable to Deutsche Bank at the time. The Bank takes its legal obligations seriously, including appropriately responding to authorized investigations and proceedings.”
The NYAG informed Deutsche Bank of the falsified financial documents in 2020 as part of an investigative subpoena. Afterward, Deutsche Bank asked the Trump Organization questions about the financial documents. The company “refused to respond” so Deutsche Bank decided to “exit its relationship” with the company, the complaint says.
At least one of the Deutsche Bank loans—a $125 million credit for the Doral property—was refinanced by Axos Bank, a San Diego-based lender, in May 2022. Since the Trump Organization paid $295 million of what it owes to Deutsche, the German bank now only holds $45 million in Trump associated debt, according to the NYAG’s filing. NYAG estimates that Trump saved between $85 million and $150 million in interest rate savings because of the misleading statements.
Banks weren’t the only institutions defrauded. Deutsche Bank loaned the Trump Organization $170 million to buy and renovate the Old Post Office building in Washington DC, a bid that Trump won for his Trump International Hotel.
Trump’s financial documents were used in the bidding process with the US General Services Administration (GSA), a process that the Trump Organization bragged was “one of the most competitive selection processes in the history of” the GSA.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ): “But despite our apparent differences, Senator McConnell and I have forged a friendship.”
While speaking at an event held by the McConnell Center, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona, spoke about her unlikely friendship with Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky. Although Senator Cinema is a registered Democrat, she is one of the few Democrats who is not always aligned with the Democratic party. One that is rooted in our commonalities, including are pragmatic approach to legislating, our respect for the Senate as an institution, our love for our home states, and a dogged determination on behalf of our constituents.
NY Daily News
Brooklyn man identified as Capitol rioter who reportedly received phone call from White House on Jan. 6
NEW YORK — A Brooklyn man who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 has been identified as the recipient of a mysterious nine-second phone call from the White House placed during the riot. Anton Lunyk, 26, of Midwood, Brooklyn, admitted joining the attack with two buddies and is the owner of the phone to which someone at the White House briefly called during the riot, CNN reported Monday. The mystery …
Florida Sheriff Found Responsible for Deadly Traffic Accident Killing Black Teen. Now He Has to Pay $15M
A Florida sheriff has been ordered by a jury to pay $15 million to the parents of Andrew Joseph III, a teen who died while crossing a highway after deputies kicked him out of a state fair, according to The Associated Press. Joseph’s family attorney said Andrew should’ve never been put in such a “vulnerable situation.”
International observers at the “referendums” turn out to be Putin lovers and propagandists
ROMAN PETRENKO – MONDAY, 26 SEPTEMBER 2022, 17: 50 Investigative Journalists have said that “international observers” at the sham referendums in the occupied Oblasts of Ukraine have turned out to be long-time supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The AV Club
Buckingham Palace wants to remind us commoners that The Crown is “a drama, not a documentary”
Hear ye, hear ye: Buckingham Palace has a few things to say about that prestige Netflix show centered around their dear old royal family. According to The Telegraph, the Palace has reportedly “moved to protect” the newly crowned King Charles and his shiny reputation from the “all out war” Netflix’s The Crown will depict in its upcoming season.
Two key questions as Congress scrutinizes records from Trump’s accountant
The New York attorney general’s lawsuit against Donald Trump last week revealed new details about the former president’s finances, but a Congressional probe could soon unveil additional documents that he’s long been trying to shield from public view.
Wisconsin’s top Republican sues to block Jan. 6 subpoena
Wisconsin’s Republican Assembly leader is suing to block a subpoena that orders him to testify before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection about a conversation he had with Donald Trump about overturning the 2020 election. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos filed the lawsuit on Sunday in federal court in Wisconsin arguing that the subpoena falls outside the scope of the committee’s investigation into last year’s Capitol attack and infringes on his legislative immunity from civil process. Vos, who had a falling out with Trump this summer, also alleged that the short notice of the subpoena placed an undue burden on him.
Ex-staffer’s unauthorized book about Jan. 6 committee rankles members
News that a former adviser to the committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection is publishing a book billed as a “behind-the-scenes” look at the committee’s work came as a shock to most lawmakers and committee staff when it was announced last week. Denver Riggleman, a former Republican congressman, is set to publish “The Breach” on Tuesday, just one day before the final public hearing of the Jan. 6 panel, which has gone to extraordinary lengths to prevent unauthorized leaks, as well as
The Daily Beast
Trump’s ‘Special Master’ Delay Is Already Backfiring
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/GettyFormer President Donald Trump has learned time and again that the best way to kill legal action is to first delay it. And while Trump’s “special master” gambit initially showed promise in that regard, the tactic may have actually backfired and put him on a fast-track collision course with the federal government he once led.Two separate court decisions last week have empowered the FBI to move swiftly in its investigation against Trump for
The New York Times
Mastriano’s Sputtering Campaign: No TV Ads, Tiny Crowds, Little Money
HARRISBURG, Pa. — In the same spot where he spoke to thousands of people at a raucous state Capitol rally demanding an end to pandemic restrictions in April 2020, Doug Mastriano appeared Saturday before a crowd of just a few dozen — about half of whom were volunteers for his ragtag campaign for governor of Pennsylvania. Mastriano, an insurgent state senator who in the spring cruised to the Republican nomination, is learning this fall that while it is one thing to win a crowded GOP primary on the
The seven Senate seats most likely to flip
Republicans are looking for opportunities to go on offense in their battle for the Senate majority and stunt the momentum Democrats have built over the course of the summer. But Democrats, fresh off a season of eyepopping fundraising and legislative wins, aren’t taking their rose-tinted summer for granted as Republicans ramp up spending in key…