New York Judge Slams Donald Trump’s ‘Fraudulent’ Valuation of Mar-a-Lago: Orders Massive Payback

West Palm Beach, Florida – A New York judge has declared that former President Donald Trump provided a “fraudulent” valuation of his esteemed Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago, for over a decade. Judge Arthur Engoron concluded in a 92-page order that Trump must pay an astonishing $354.8 million in disgorgement of ill-gotten profits. Additionally, Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, were ordered to pay just over $4 million each.

The civil business fraud case focused on key Trump properties, with the judge’s findings centering on Trump’s former Washington, D.C., hotel. However, attention and debate also surrounded Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private club and residence often referred to as the Southern White House during his presidency.

Engoron highlighted an agreement made by Trump in 1995, aptly named the “Deed of Conservation and Preservation,” which restricted the usage of Mar-a-Lago solely as a social club. Furthermore, seven years later, Trump granted a conservation easement to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, further limiting alterations to the property.

Despite these restrictions, the valuations prepared for Mar-a-Lago were based on the premise that the compound could be sold as a private residence, even though it was prohibited by the agreements in perpetuity. Trump has insisted that the property is worth as much as $1 billion, although the judge’s ruling contradicts this claim.

U.S. House Representative Jared Moskowitz, a Democrat representing parts of Palm Beach County, responded to Trump’s valuation by calling for a significant increase in Mar-a-Lago’s property taxes. In a letter to Palm Beach County’s property appraiser, Moskowitz questioned whether the property value would be adjusted to reflect the Trump family’s estimation.

This ruling has significant financial implications for Trump and his family, as they are obliged to pay millions of dollars due to the fraudulent valuation of Mar-a-Lago. The court’s decision sheds light on the complex legal and financial landscape surrounding Trump’s property empire.