Trump fraud trial judge says there’s ‘no mistake’ the former president’s Mar-a-Lago price-tag was ‘fraudulent’

In a recent civil fraud trial, Judge Arthur Engoron criticized Donald Trump’s claims that his Palm Beach, Florida, estate and private club were worth more than $1 billion. Engoron’s verdict stated that Trump signed a “Deed of Conservation and Preservation” in 1995, giving up the right to use Mar-a-Lago for any purpose other than as a social club. A 2002 deed that Trump signed gave away the right to use Mar-a-Lago as a single-family residence in perpetuity. In exchange for executing the deed, Trump paid significantly lower property taxes on Mar-a-Lago.

The judge argued that Trump believed Mar-a-Lago was worth between a billion and a billion five today, which would require valuing it as a private residence and more than the most expensive private residence listed in the country by approximately 400%. Trump claimed that the judge was a “fraud” for not agreeing to that valuation.

Trump and his supporters falsely claimed Engoron valued the property at $18 million in his summary judgment ruling ahead of the trial. However, Engoron’s earlier decision cited a Palm Beach county tax appraisal, which found Mar-a-Lago to be worth between $18 million and $27 million. The Trump Organization prepared statements of financial condition between 2011 and 2021, stating that Mar-a-Lago was worth between about $350 million and $740 million.

In Friday’s scathing verdict, Engoron slapped Trump, his two eldest sons, and his namesake company with a nearly $364 million cash penalty.

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