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Donald Trump discusses the value of Mar-a-Lago in resurfaced interview

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A video of former President Donald Trump discussing the value of his Mar-a-Lago estate has resurfaced on social media amid his corporate fraud trial.

The value of Trump’s South Florida property is at the center of Trump’s business fraud trial in New York, where state Attorney General Letitia James filed a $250 million lawsuit accusing him and top executives of the Trump Organization of inflating his net worth by billions of dollars. on financial statements to banks and insurers to obtain better loans.

Trump maintains his innocence, accusing James of targeting him for political purposes while he remains the front-runner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary. The lawsuit is civil and not criminal, meaning he does not face prison time .

Judge Arthur Engoron previously ruled that Trump, his adult sons, their businesses and their executives committed fraud and will now rule on six other charges, including falsifying business records, insurance fraud and allegations of conspiracy during the trial, because Trump’s legal team did not opt ​​for that option. a jury trial. The result could see the former president lose some of his famous properties and be banned from doing business in New York.

In a decades-old interview posted to X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, by user @TBifford, Trump discussed purchasing the domain in 1985.

The property was listed for sale at a value of $20 million when it was put up for sale in 1980, but the former president suggested he paid far less when asked to comment on reports that he had paid only $5 million.

“What I can tell you is, if you used the number that you’re using, you probably wouldn’t be too far away,” Trump said. However, the report also suggests he paid extra for the mansion and beach furniture, bringing the total, according to the reporter at the time, to around $10 million.

Federal prosecutors accused Trump of falsely inflating the value of Mar-a-Lago in the lawsuit. Trump said the property was worth at least $420 million and as much as $1.5 billion, the Associated Press reported.

Engoron sided with James’ accusation that Trump inflated the property’s value, noting that Trump’s estimate was 2,300 percent multiplied by the Palm Beach County tax assessor’s assessments , according to the AP. These valuations ranged between $18 million and $37 million.

“A discrepancy of this order of magnitude, from a real estate developer evaluating his own living space over several decades, can only be considered fraud,” Engoron said.

According to the Department of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator, $20 million in 1980 would be almost $80 million in 2023, while $5 million would be about $20 million. However, this does not take into account other factors, such as changes in the value of the property or any changes to the estate that could affect its value.

Trump defended Mar-a-Lago’s valuation during his testimony this week, doubling down on his claim that Mar-a-Lago’s value could reach $1.5 million when asked by prosecutors, CNN reported. He said it would “show that in two weeks or five weeks or nine weeks or whenever this thing happens, that its greatest value is to use it as a club.”

A resurfaced interview shows Donald Trump talking about his purchase of Mar-a-Lago.
Joe Raedle/Brandon Bell/Getty Images