$18M or $300M - What's the real worth of Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate?
Former President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization found liable for fraud, with Mar-a-Lago valued at $18 million.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron has found former President Donald Trump, along with his family and the Trump Organization, liable for fraud. The ruling aligns with New York Attorney General Letitia James's lawsuit, which alleges that Trump inflated his wealth with false statements.
Justice Engoron's landmark decision, issued without a jury, sends a resounding message that no one, regardless of their stature, is above the law. The 35-page judgment pointedly sided with Attorney General James, stating that Trump had made unequivocally false statements on official documents to secure favourable terms with financial institutions.
Notably, the judge highlighted the fraudulent nature of Trump's claims, such as inflating his triplex penthouse in Trump Tower's size to 30,000 square feet when it was closer to 11,000 square feet. Engoron's ruling has underscored the gravity of the allegations against the former president.
However, one aspect of the verdict that has raised eyebrows is Justice Engoron's evaluation of Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club resort, valuing it at just $18 million, a stark contrast to Trump's purchase price of $10 million in 1985. Real estate experts and insiders have expressed scepticism, with some asserting that the property's current market value could be significantly higher, potentially reaching $300 million.
Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, spanning 20 acres and boasting numerous amenities, has long been considered a prestigious and valuable property, especially given Palm Beach's soaring real estate market in recent years.
The ruling also revoked the New York business certificates held by the Trump Organization and any other New York-based businesses associated with Trump or his family. Furthermore, it mandated an independent third party to oversee the dissolution of the cancelled LLCs.
In response to the ruling, Trump decried it as a "Witch Hunt" and called for intervention from higher courts in New York State or the federal system.