Discussion: READ: Cohen Shares Purported Trump Financial Statements

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Now if he had just photo copied his tax returns…




Beyond the legitimacy of the documents, I am not sure what are they supposed to show, Trump has always bragged of being filthy rich, and if some sucker believed whatever is in those documents without any corroborating information it’s their own fault.


Most banks check with the IRS to compare your claimed income with reported income. The difference is “bank fraud” and/or tax fraud.


“Kim Jong Un Interrupts Summit to Watch Michael Cohen”

Andy Borowitz


It’s so weird to be rooting for Michael Cohen to rip congressman Comer R-KY-sexual assaulter a new one.


If you want to pile on Comer, this thread is pretty active on the topic…

Yeah, I just came in from an appointment and have a lot to catch up on. Thanks.

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$4 billion for Brand Value?! He almost doubled his assets by just waving his hand!

As a CPA, I’d just like to say No, that’s not how it works. You don’t get to claim your own brand as an asset. Seriously, this is the fakest set of personal financial statements I’ve seen, particularly how his net worth jumps $4.1 billion from June 2012 to March 2013; mostly due to “Brand Value.” Trump must have REALLY needed a big loan if he pumped up his already fake numbers this much.


I have a related question, since I am not a CPA. How is the value of his real estate determined? I own a house and I have an idea of what it is worth, based on comparable sales in the area. But I am not sure how the value of commercial real estate is determined. In valuing real estate, my impression is that there are different possible answers, such as the price last time it was sold or a comparison of the sales price of comparable properties or the square footage times the going rate for that kind of property in that area or even a future value of cash flow from rents. I really do not know how one would determine the value. I’m curious.

Am I wrong or did the loan balances not change for 3 years? I.E. he made no payments on capital (now, this is certainly possible on interest only loans, but that would be a LOT of IO debt.)

The March 2013 statements are not issued by Trump’s accounting firm, so they are worthless.

The other two are parts of compilation reports, which is a long way from having audited financial statements. (In other words, they are mostly worthless. They have some worth in that you can read some of the compilation report by flipping the 2011 image–but the Note mentioned in the top paragraph, for example, is not included here. Audited financial statements, but not compilation reports, would include a number of required analyses by the accountants and tests to make sure that the numbers were materially correct.)

I’m a CPA. The way it’s done on REAL financial statements is based on what you paid for it. If you paid $1 and it’s now worth $10 billion, you still only put that it’s worth $1. But I’m quite certain that Trump’s financial statements are based on the imaginary fair market value of what Trump wishes he could sell them for, which isn’t a valid valuation method whatsoever.

He’s also likely leaving out lots of loans as well. And then there’s the $4 billion in Brand Value he invented in 2013. No loan officer would have accepted these financials unless they were completely incompetent or the fix was in.


Thanks! that’s pretty much what I thought, but I am not a CPA.

The Rump openly bragged about avoiding as much tax as possible in a televised debate, and won anyway. You know how Rump lovers seem deluded that THE WALL will solve their shrinking wage problems? Let’s not make a parallel but opposite mistake pinning too many hopes on Cohen finally peeling scales off that orange dragon.


I believe the process starts with the captive accountant asking the client, “What number did you have in mind?”

And if they were even close to being the truth, why would Trump have to reimburse Cohen for the Stormy Daniels payoff in monthly installments? Was he relying on payday loans?

Yes, these read more as summary personal balance sheets than as corporate balance sheets.

They aren’t statements you’d use for management purposes. They aren’t statements you’d use for a standard (GAAP) financial report. They aren’t statements you’d use for tax returns.

I don’t know how Trump Inc. is set up, so it isn’t clear to me what financial disclosures it must make to lenders, tax agencies, and shareholders (presumably various Trumpp family members and their trusts and other entities).

Brand-value issues aside, the statements hide a lot, and the March 2013 statement provided looks like it was produced without the aid of an accounting firm (lots of valuations and loan balances haven’t changed a penny in 9 months). The hundreds of millions tucked into “Other Assets” is pretty ridiculous.