The appraiser listed in a series of Trump Organization documents as having assessed the value of such properties as 40 Wall Street, Trump Tower, and the retail space adjoining Trump Tower known as “Niketown” testified that he never actually evaluated several of the buildings in question.
Doug Larson, an executive vice president at real estate firm Newmark, testified in the Trump Organization fraud trial on October 17, 2023.
Larson said that he was “surprised and disappointed” to see his name listed as an appraiser in the Trump Organization documents. He said that he had only appraised one Trump property, 40 Wall Street, in 2015. He also said that he had never spoken to anyone at the Trump Organization about the other properties.
Larson’s testimony contradicts the Trump Organization’s claims that it had obtained independent appraisals of its properties. The Trump Organization has been accused of inflating the values of its properties in order to obtain loans and insurance coverage.
Larson’s testimony is a significant blow to the Trump Organization’s defense. It provides further evidence that the Trump Organization may have engaged in fraudulent practices.
Here is a summary of Larson’s key testimony:
- He was listed as an appraiser in Trump Organization documents for several properties, but he only actually appraised one of them, 40 Wall Street.
- He never spoke to anyone at the Trump Organization about the other properties.
- He was “surprised and disappointed” to see his name listed as an appraiser in the Trump Organization documents.
Larson’s testimony is damaging to the Trump Organization’s defense because it suggests that the company may have lied about having obtained independent appraisals of its properties.
Donald Trump and his two adult sons are being accused by New York Attorney General Letitia James of systematically misstating the value of properties in order to fraudulently obtain loans at better rates.
The former president has denied this, saying that his valuations were good faith assessments of subjective value and that he insists that no harm resulted from his fraudulent practices because all the loans were repaid.