Accountants say Trump might have as little as $30 million scattered across hundreds of bank accounts
Accountants said former President Donald Trump could have as little as $30 million readily available spread across hundreds of bank accounts.
Forensic accountants Mark Gottlieb and Bruce Dubinsky, joined by University of Las Vegas Nevada tax law expert Francine Lipman, told The Daily Beast Trump likely has access to $30 million to $100 million after reviewing his 2020 tax returns.
While Trump often touts himself as a billionaire, with Forbes estimating his net worth at $3.2 billion, the accounting experts suggested the value is mostly derived from assets that he cannot easily access.
Gottlieb, who also serves as a tax law expert in Manhattan, said that a lot of Trump’s income in 2020 appeared to be ‘phantom income.’
“As phantom income, he can’t touch it, feel it, smell it, or use it,” Gottlieb told The Daily Beast.
Donald Trump could have access to as little as $30 million despite his $3.2 billion net worth
In reviewing Trump’s 2020 tax returns, Gottlieb said the documents showed an impressive $10.6 million earned in interest income, but very little in the form of dividends or other forms of earnings.
And about $9.74 million of the interest income comes from entities controlled by Vornado Realty Trust, where Trump is a minority member and has no control over his stake.
“The self-proclaimed billionaire only earned an actual income of around a million dollars,” Gottlieb told the Daily Beast. ‘But for his wages as president and his dividends from those inaccessible partnerships, Trump’s actual income that year was more like $500,000 or $600,000. Not a lot of money for a billionaire.
Lipman echoed the conclusion, adding that the money spread around hundreds of entities meant Trump is effectively unable ‘to put money from [his] left pocket to his right pocket.
‘It looks like he’s got around half a million in interest income that he can actually touch. Not $10 million,’ she said of her 2020 earnings.
While Dubinsky warned against trying to guess Trump’s true assets given the limited information in his 2020 tax returns, he, too, concluded that the former president likely does not have billions in liquid net worth.
“Based upon my rough calculations taking that interest income out of the equation, his true liquid net worth was significantly less than the amount he has touted publicly,” he told the Daily Beast.
A representative for Trump did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
The experts suggested the bulk of Trump’s worth to be in property and assets, like his $350 million estate in Mar-a-Lago (pictured).
Donald Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment Right against self-incrimination 400 times during his deposition with the New York attorney general’s office in August, newly revealed video of the interview show
DailyMail.com conducted its own review of Trump’s taxes when they were made public last month.
DailyMail.com can confirm Trump paid little federal income tax while he was in the White House, and nothing in 2020.
He and wife Melania reported that they had a negative income of $53.2million from 2015 to 2020.
And Trump paid $1.7 million in taxes over the six-year period, including just $750 in both 2016 and 2017.
But the latest analysis comes at a difficult time for Trump as his financial records continue to be scrutinized amid a lawsuit by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
New York Attorney General Letitia James required Trump’s deposition in August – and a little over a month later announced a lawsuit against the former president, three of his children and his company for inflating the value of his properties.
James, a Democrat who campaigned with promises to take on Trump and his businesses, filed a $250 million suit alleging that he had misled banks and lenders about his assets.
In a video of deposition for the case, Trump could be seen invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 400 times.
‘This whole thing is very unfair,’ Trump said in the deposition over the summer. ‘Anyone in my position not taking the Fifth Amendment would be a fool, an absolute fool.’
‘I respectfully decline to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution,’ he added, claiming it was on the advice of his counsel.
‘This will be my answer to any further questions.’