What is Trump Organization's net worth? Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance convenes grand jury in NY criminal probe
DA Cyrus Vance convenes a grand jury that will meet for six months to hear testimony against the Trump Organization, criminal charges against top executives expected
The "witch hunt" into Donald Trump reached a new breaking point on May 25 after Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance convened a grand jury. Vance, who has been investigating the Trump Organization for several months now, will likely press for criminal charges against the organization and its top executives, according to reports.
Reportedly, the jury will sit for three days a week for six months as Vance lays out the case against the organization, which could also indict Trump now that he is no longer President. While in office, Trump claimed he was immune from the investigation, but was forced to turn over his tax records in February this year. The former President has also hit out at the news of the grand jury in his latest blog on his website.
"This is a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American history. No other President in history has had to put up with what I have had to, and on top of all that, I have done a great job for our Country," Trump claimed. "This is purely political, and an affront to the almost 75 million voters who supported me in the Presidential Election, and it’s being driven by highly partisan Democrat prosecutors."
What is Trump Organization's net worth?
At the heart of the investigation by Vance is the Trump Organization, the parent body of all of Donald Trump's businesses. Vance believes the company has been evading taxes for years. According to Crain's New York Business, the organization claimed between $600 million and $700 million in annual revenue in 2017. That's only 10% of what it claimed it made in 2010.
It is of course quite hard to judge the true value of Trump's business. Hidden behind a myriad number of shell companies and licensing deals, it's unclear how much exactly the organization is earning. All we have to go on are its self-reported financial filings, which Vance believes aren't accurate. To complicate matters, the organization has also allegedly overvalued some of its properties, in order to get a tax break.
Take for example Seven Springs, a 212-acre estate north of Manhattan that Trump purchased in 1995. In 2015, Trump signed a conservation easement for 158 acres. Prior to that deal, an appraiser had valued the property at $56.5 million. That was significantly higher than the $20 million local government assessors valued it at. Nonetheless, thanks to that valuation, Trump reportedly snagged a $21 million tax deduction.
Through acts like this, the Trump Organization has allegedly been able to hide its true value from the IRS. Between 2017 and 2019, the company is estimated to have raked in revenue of $1.9 billion. A Forbes analysis shows increased revenue brought in by Trump's golf courses and clubs, while his hotel empire has been slowly fading. Financial disclosures in 2020 claimed that revenue dropped as much as 63% in 2020. Nonetheless, without knowing the actual value of his assets, it's hard to say what their worth is.
Indictment against Trump?
It is important to know that there are two investigations into the Trump Organization at present. Vance's investigation is looking into the Trump Organization and Donald Trump's finances. In 2019, the New York State Attorney General's Office opened an investigation into the alleged inflation of Trump's properties. While the two are different, they do overlap in many ways. Both investigations are essentially asking the same question - what is the actual value of the Trump Organization's assets?
Vance believes that the bank and tax fraud the organization committed is far from accidental, and the convening of a grand jury means that he certainly has something worth prosecuting. Details are scarce at the moment since grand jury proceedings are sealed. The Washington Post was the first to reveal that Vance and convened a panel, but no comments were made by the New York State Attorney General's Office or the Trump Organization. "Vance feels he has the evidence to get an indictment and is in a hurry to get it presented so he can get the indictment voted and filed. That will take some time, but I imagine that an indictment is essentially imminent," former federal prosecutor Patrick Cotter told USA Today.
The investigation has delved into several people in Trump's inner circle, including former attorney Michael Cohen, Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, Mazars accountant Donald Bender, and real estate brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield. Right now, it's unclear if Donald Trump or any of his children are being investigated directly by Vance, but it is certainly possible. "If Vance does intend to seek an indictment against Trump or the kids, it is likely that will be the last step taken, and only after he has first rolled up cooperating witnesses like Weisselberg," lawyer Bradley Moss said to USA Today.
Unless the jury votes to indict the Trump Organization, we won't know how big or deep the investigation is, or if it covers the Trump family as well. But clearly, Vance believes he has enough, to convene a jury for six months. That's a lot of time, indicating that he has plenty to show and tell. If Vance does manage to get indictments, it could spell massive trouble for Trump, but it could be a long time before he appears in court.