A letter from Donald Trump‘s court monitor in his fraud trial suggests he lied about a $48 million loan.
Lawyers for Trump responded on Monday, calling it a “demonstrable falsehood.”
The team also provided a memo from the Trump Org’s legal department stating that the loan was paid off.
Donald Trump is fighting back after a court monitor’s footnote indicated that the former president may have committed tax fraud.
Former federal judge Barbara Jones, serving as a special monitor on the Trump Organization fraud case, wrote a letter to Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron indicating Trump’s team may have lied about the existence of a $48 million loan.
“When I inquired about this loan, I was informed that there are no loan agreements that memorialize the loan, but that it was a loan that was believed to be between Donald J. Trump, individually, and Chicago Unit Acquisition for $48 million,” Jones wrote, then added: “However, in recent discussions with the Trump Organization, it indicated that it has determined that this loan never existed.”
The Daily Beast first reported on Sunday the note from Jones is a clue Trump used a fake $48 million loan as a vessel to avoid paying income taxes.
“It would appear, assuming Judge Jones’ letter is accurate, that this amounts to tax evasion,” Martin Lobel, a tax lawyer, told The Daily Beast.
In a court filing Monday, attorneys for Trump dismissed Jones’ findings, calling it a “demonstrable falsehood” and questioned the court monitor’s ability to do her job, per documents obtained by Business Insider. A lawyer for Trump, who wrote a letter to the judge overseeing the case about Jones’ findings, also complained about the $2.6 million that Jones has collected to oversee the organization.
“The monitor now twists immaterial accounting items into a narrative favoring her continued appointment, and thereby the continued receipt of millions of dollars in excessive fees,” Trump attorney Clifford S. Robert wrote.
“The Monitor’s six reports never once mention financial reporting misconduct, suspicious activity, or suspected or actual fraud,” Christopher Kise, counsel for Trump, told Business Insider in a statement. “No accounting or other governing standards are even cited in the January 26 report, much less violated. Instead, wandering beyond her mandate, it appears the Monitor has been paid $2.6 million to ‘uncover’ seven immaterial disclosure items, three irrelevant inconsistencies, and five clerical errors.”
In her Friday report regarding her review of the financial information submitted to her by the Trump Organization, Jones writes the documents contained “incomplete” or “inconsistent” disclosures containing multiple “errors.” According to the Daily Beast, as recently as October, Trump claimed in financial disclosures that he owed the sum to his company, listing his debt as more than $50 million.
However, Jones said that the Trump Organization indicated to her that the loan “never existed” and that “it would be removed from any upcoming forms submitted to the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) and would also be removed from subsequent versions of MAML.”
In the Monday letter, Robert said that the Trump Org “never said the loan did not exist.”
“Rather, they provided a copy of an internal memorandum reflecting simply that ‘no liabilities or obligations are outstanding’ under the loan at that time,” Robert wrote. “The Monitor’s deliberate mischaracterization casts further doubt on her competency and veracity.”
Included in the letter was the memo from the Trump Orgs legal department dated December 4, 2023, indicating that a $48 million loan to 401 Mezz Venture LLC — not Trump personally — had been paid off. As the Daily Beast reported, the memo doesn’t necessarily prove nor disprove the existence of the loan.
The Trump team also recruited public accountant Jason Flemmons to review Jones’s report, who wrote that he did not find “suspected or actual fraud.”
Kise said in his statement to BI that Jones’ report was a “joke.”
“Indeed, it is shocking that President Trump has been forced to pay millions for a Monitor to prove what he has said from the outset, namely, there is no financial reporting misconduct, no fraud, and simply no basis for this abusive process to continue,” Kise said.
Read the original article on Business Insider