Critics of Donald Trump, especially those in the state of New York, would usually equate the adjectives “doubtful” and “inconsistencies” with his self-reported net worth.
But these precise phrases were used by expert accountant Jason Flemmons, who testified for Trump’s defense on a second day during the former president’s Manhattan fraud trial, to characterize the inventive accounting techniques at the center of the case.
Flemmons raised concerns over a 2016 internal Trump Organization spreadsheet on exhibit in the courtroom, which purportedly included $200 million in cash for the president.
According to state authorities, these monies were linked to a relationship that Trump did not have the exclusive right to end.
Flemmons described this as a serious issue and said that, given his experience, he would have many questions about it.
Regarding Trump’s net worth statements, he identified almost a dozen red flags, including disparities like Trump inflating the size of his Manhattan penthouse, adding a “brand premium” to his total worth, and increasing the value of Trump Park Avenue by valuing rent-stabilized condo units at market rates.
Accountability in Trump’s Net Worth Trial
Flemmons blamed the outside accountant for the disparities, saying that the accountant, not the person signing the statement, should have been the one to see such problems. This was in line with Trump’s defense strategy, which in his legal fights has often focused on placing the blame on accountants.
But Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, and her legal team have countered that people cannot avoid accountability by accusing their accountants of lying on tax returns.
Donald Bender, Trump’s longtime Mazars USA accountant, has responded that it was the executives’ and Trump’s responsibility to provide correct financial data for the net worth claims.
James is seeking a court decision to permanently prohibit Trump and his two oldest sons from running a company in New York, in addition to monetary fines of at least $250 million.
The trial is anticipated for at least another month, during which Flemmons will continue to testify under cross-examination.
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