Trump has over half a billion dollars in legal penalties – a review of nine+ years of Trump’s cash spreadsheets reveals new information and raises new questions

Heading into the 2024 presidential election Donald Trump – who faces dozens of felony charges and recently lost several big civil cases – has clinched the GOP nomination. Trump now heads into the general election after having been found liable of sexual abuse, defamation and financial fraud and with over half a billion dollars in legal penalties due.

Setting aside Trump’s decades of fraudulent business practices, his network of mafia and criminal associates, his destructive, divisive, nepotistic presidential record, his incitement of violence, support of insurrectionists, and embrace of dictatorship, kleptocracy and fascism – there are also serious questions about how Trump will pay over half a billion dollars in penalties and who he will be indebted to if he becomes president.

The media has repeatedly questioned how Trump will find the cash to pay these penalties. But there has been little reporting on public exhibits from the New York attorney general civil fraud case – that include revealing information on almost a decade of Trump’s cash and short-term investment accounts. I dove into the weeds and created a table with highlights and summarize some key findings.

I started reviewing the cash documents because I was curious to learn more about the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago and a mysterious $50 million loan associated with the property, and the very odd “0” valuation in ten years of Trump’s Statements of Financial Condition. That information is covered at the end of this piece. Below I highlight a few new findings and my hope is that other researchers, journalists and curious people will spend more time looking at the hundreds of public exhibits from the New York attorney general case which include a wealth of information and likely un-reported findings.

Trump has over half a billion dollars in civil penalties

The judge in the New York Attorney General’s civil fraud case against Donald Trump concluded that Trump fraudulently inflated his net worth and in February the judgment ordered Trump to pay over $450 million (an amount that includes interest).

The New York Times reported that:

Justice Engoron criticized Mr. Trump and the other defendants for refusing to admit wrongdoing for years. “Their complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological,” he said.

Trump also has to pay over $83 million in the E. Jean Carroll defamation case. In March Trump posted a $91.6 million bond, more than the $83.3 million judgment because Trump is also responsible for interest.

Given these huge pending penalties and accumulating interest, there has been a lot of media coverage (like this, this, and this) questioning how Trump will pay.

Forbes estimates that Trump has roughly $413 million in cash

This recent Forbes story provides one of the most detailed estimates of Trump’s current available cash:

Trump himself testified in April 2023 that he had “substantially in excess of $400 million in cash.” That’s pretty close to Forbes’ current estimate: roughly $413 million, good for about 15% of Trump’s $2.6 billion in net worth.

Forbes started with Trump’s 2021 cash balance of $293 million from this document filed in the New York attorney general’s case.

Then they added in $112 million from the 2022 sale of the Washington D.C. hotel, $60 million from the 2023 sale of Trump’s contract for his Bronx New York golf course, $27 million for other items (small property sales, books, speeches, NFTs). They subtracted $67 million for loans paid off and $13 million for aircraft expenses.

New unreported details from the New York attorney general case exhibits of Trump’s cash and short-term investments

While Forbes used the 2021 spreadsheet of Trump’s cash and short-term investments, which had been filed in the New York attorney general’s case – there are similar filings for the nine years spanning 2013 to 2021 – and almost no reporting to-date on the details within those public documents.

With Trump running again for president while facing a huge amount of financial debt, it’s more important than ever to heed the cliche and follow the money.

I reviewed and compiled new reporting on Trump’s cash and short-term investments spreadsheets from 2013 to 2021 and on summary information going back to 2011.

While some fluctuations in Trump’s cash flow align with previously reported events, some of the changes reported here for the first time reveal new information and raise new questions about the cash flowing through different accounts.

Trump’s cash and short-term investments ranged from $75 million to almost $340 million from 2011 to 2021

Below are two tables showing 1) Trump’s total cash and short-term investments from 2011 to 2021 and 2) the year-to-year % change. Further down is a table showing totals for some of the largest accounts for each year from 2013 to 2021, with links to the source data, followed by some key highlights.

Some key highlights of Trump’s year to year cash totals for 2011 to 2021

  • In 2015, 2016 and 2017 Trump’s cash and short-term investments declined steadily from 34-41% per year.
  • In 2017 to 2020 the cash and short-term investments were in a consistent range of $75 million to $92 million.
  • In 2021 after Trump left office his cash and short-term investments increased over 200% from $92 million to $293 million.

An article in Forbes explained that much of the increase from 2020 to 2021 was due to the refinancing of 555 California, the San Francisco tower Trump owns with Vornado Realty Trust, and also due to proceeds from selling condo units. Trump owns a 30% interest in 555 California in San Francisco and also 30% of 1290 Avenue of the Americas in New York City.

Forbes raised questions about how much control Vornado had and still may have over a significant amount of Trump’s money:

Trump’s 2021 balance sheet included some $90 million tied up in entities controlled by Vornado, his business partner on office buildings in New York and San Francisco. At the time, Trump couldn’t access that money unless Vornado decided to disburse it to him, limiting the former president’s ability to actually use the funds. It’s not clear how much of Trump’s cash remains under Vornado’s control today. Vornado declined to comment.

Totals in the cash and short-term investment documents compared to totals in the statement of financial condition

I compared the totals listed in the cash and short-term investment documents with the Statements of Financial Condition ‘cash and marketable securities’ totals and the differences were relatively small – variations of $60,000 or less – from 2013-2021.

However, in 2011 the cash total was $207,488,026 but the 2011 SOFC cash and marketable securities total was $258,900,000, a difference of over $50 million.

I was not able to determine what this difference was for since the SOFC does not include any detail on the cash and marketable securities.

During 2011 Trump negotiated various loans with Deutsche Bank and the following year he reported a mystery loan of over $50 million on his Chicago property (discussed in more detail further on). But it is not known if any of these loan funds accounted for the additional $50 million in cash or marketable securities in the 2011 SOFC.

Highlights of Trump’s 2013-2021 cash and short-term investments – large and notable accounts

The table below shows many of the largest account balances from Trump’s cash and short-term investment documents for the years 2013 through 2021 and as of June 30th each year. Below the table are the source links and some explanations about the data. There is a link to the 2011 document, but I was unable to find the 2012 document, so the table shows only the consecutive years from 2013-2021. Following that are descriptions of several notable highlights. The total shown at the top includes other accounts that are not listed in the table. (Note that the data in the table is best viewed on a desktop, on mobile scroll right to view all of the columns.)

(includes items not listed below)
DJT Revocable Trust 27,328,24030,218,80532,657,81345,395,53096,973,885
DJT Holdings 190,61824,571,457545,658343,405756,1871,594,9776,174,6862,857,9372,654,932
DJT Marketable Securities185,725,799120,146,365107,154,93140,097,87300
1290 Avenue of the Americas13,304,4008,607,30015,532,5007,194,0009,604,8003,681,9008,382,30011,611,20028,040,700
HWA Waterfront Associates LPs III, IV, V
(30% of 1290 Avenue of the Americas)
HWA 555 Owners917,4006,680,40001,028,4004,290,0005,805,00012,019,20016,383,000
555 California Street1,572,900
HWA Waterfront Associates LP I
(30% of 555 California Street)
401 North Wabash Venture LLC
(TIHT Chicago)
Trump Int’l Hotel and Tower Chicago 3,045,756
Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC
(creditor 2012 $50Mil+ loan Trump OGE form)
Trump Miami Resort Management2,552,8784,600,5685,606,2254,975,099597,0251,209,3421,633,8171,278,4713,430,740
Fifty-Seventh Street Associates LLC1,4098,1261,78118,0381,115,8943,061,6725,233,344229,3571,099,691
40 Wall Street LLC1,423,73211,2706,433,860278,711218,889301,001(249,907)52,887193,735
Trump Plaza LLC288,1117,067,351121,07494,446131,01732,78850,12875,665178,725
Miss Universe3,460,9704,445,14450,11238,839
Mar-a-Lago Club, LLC935,3121,042,421699,4461,488,368924,452527,375807,96022,1031,237,603
Trump Ruffin Commercial LLC139,4473,303,811464,391549,559217,5802,356,184
Trump Int’l Golf Club Scotland (Aberdeen)
(Trump Int’l Golf Links Scotland in 2017)
Trump Turnberry Scotland
(SLC Turnberry Limited after 2017)
Trump Tower Commercial192,2922,122,851180,480175,215275,406431,786
Trump Old Post Office9,667729,6491,377,313101,4852,629,0991,538,384(34,209)
2012 IL tax refund3,926,925

Notes on the data included in the chart:
  • The table includes most of the largest accounts (those with $5 million or more in at least one year). The table also includes a few smaller accounts related to the TIHT Chicago property, as well as some accounts that have been notable in the news (Miss Universe, Mar-a-Lago, Trump Old Post Office DC Hotel, etc.)
  • There are often multiple accounts associated with one property. For example in 2017 there are accounts for 401 North Wabash Venture LLC, TIHT Chicago Commercial Manager LLC, Trump Chicago Hotel Manager LLC, etc. Another example is accounts for Trump Ruffin LLC, Trump Ruffin Commercial LLC, and Trump Ruffin Tower I LLC. The table above generally includes the largest account and does not roll-up other smaller accounts.
  • From year to year some of the account names seem to change. For example HWA 555 Owners is a company associated with 555 California property in San Francisco where Trump owns 30% with Vornado Realty. HWA 555 Owners is listed in multiple years, but in 2014 it is not listed and instead there is an account for 555 California Street – which seems likely to be a different name for the same account. Another example is that there is a Trump Turnberry Scotland account listed 2014-2016 and then in 2017 there is an account called SLC Turnberry Limited which may be the same account. There may be other accounts that are similar or renamed that are missing from the table.
  • I was unable to find any legal entities with the exact name “HWA Waterfront Associates LP”. However Twitter researcher BraisinCapital located this transcript from the New York attorney general case describing that “HWA Waterfront Associates LP 1 owned 555 California Street”  and LPs III, IV and V were “partners in 1290 Avenue of the Americas.”
  • Note: my purpose in compiling the data is to demonstrate the type of information in the filings for other researchers and journalists to review. The data may include errors from transcribing information and may be updated periodically. The source links are provided above so that others can review the primary source data.
Example of 2013 Cash and Short Term Investment spreadsheet data

Highlights of notable changes in the year to year cash account balances

Fluctuations in accounts directly associated with DJT
  • There are three accounts that are named directly with Trump’s initials: DJT, DJT Holdings, and the DJT Revocable Trust.
  • The DJT account decreased from $75 million in 2014 to $3.4 million in 2015 and then increased slightly to $17 million in 2016.
  • The DJT account ranged from $1 million to $4 million between 2017-2020 and then skyrocketed to over $76 million in 2021.
  • In 2014 the DJT Holdings account had $24.5 million, an amount much higher than other years, which ranged from $190,618 in 2013 to $6 million in 2019.
Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust
  • The DJT Revocable Trust account first appeared in the cash and short-term investments documents in 2017. This is interesting because the trust was set up in 2014. I wrote this story on some new information about the trust, including a ‘Presidential Trust’ and ‘HWA LP Subtrust’ both created in 2017 that were not previously reported.
  • The DJT Revocable Trust account amounts ranged from $27 million to $45 million from 2017 to 2020. It appears that funds may have been moved from the DJT account to the DJT Revocable Trust in 2017.
  • The DJT Revocable Trust account more than doubled from $45 million in 2020 to $97 million in 2021 when Trump left office.
DJT Marketable Securities are not listed from 2017 to 2021
  • DJT Marketable Securities decreased steadily from $185 million in 2013, to $120 million in 2014, $107 million in 2015 and $40 million in 2016.
  • In 2017 and 2018 the documents include a row for ‘Marketable securities’ but the amount is blank. In the following years that row is not in the document at all.
HWA Waterfront Associates accounts associated with 1290 Ave of the Americas had a big increase in 2021
  • HWA Waterfront Associates LPs III, IV and V were identified in this transcript as 30% partners in the 1290 Avenue of the Americas property that Trump co-owned with Vornado Realty.
  • The balances for these accounts ranged from $1 million to almost $6 million from 2014 to 2020. In 2021 the account had a huge increase to $47 million.
Trump’s 30% ownership in 1290 Ave of the Americas and 555 California Street accounts for almost 1/3 of his recent cash and short-term investments
  • The combined totals for the various HWA 555 Owners and HWA Waterfront Associates accounts and 1290 Avenue of the Americas from 2018 to 2021 represent almost one third of Trump’s cash and short-term investments.
  • As noted previously this Forbes story raised questions about how much control Vornado has over a significant amount of Trump’s cash.
Trump Ruffin account had large amounts in 2017 and 2021
  • The New York Times reported about a sudden windfall of $21 million from the Las Vegas hotel co-owned with Phil Ruffin, that Trump made in 2016 when his campaign funds were dwindling.
  • The Trump Ruffin Commercial LLC account had $3.3 million in 2017. While the amount is lower than the $21 million reported by the NYT, it is much higher than the $139,447 in the account the prior year. The account balances from 2018-2020 were under half a million, and then in 2021 went up above $2 million, perhaps indicating another ‘windfall’?
A few other highlights
  • Several accounts for notable properties had relatively low cash balances, such as Mar-a-Lago which ranged from $22,000 to under $1.5 million, and Trump Old Post Office, Trump’s Washington D.C. Hotel, which ranged from $100,000 to $1.5 million.
  • Other properties had large fluctuations in their cash balances, such as 40 Wall Street which ranged from $11,270 in 2014 to $6.4 million in 2015, or Trump International Golf Club Scotland which had $80,574 in 2013 and $4,166,114 in 2014 and then $93,886 the following year.
  • While some of these fluctuations may align with previously reported events, others may provide new information worth researching further.

I began reviewing the cash and short-term investment spreadsheets because I was looking for information on the financials related to Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago (aka TIHT Chicago). There are several unanswered questions related to the financials, the property valuation, and loans on TIHT Chicago. Below is information on some of the prior reporting and new information revealed through documents from the New York attorney general case.

401 North Wabash Venture LLC (TIHT Chicago)

There are many unanswered questions about Trump’s financials, including a mystery about a strange $50+ million loan on the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago (TIHT Chicago). And perhaps even more bizarre is the omission of any value – assets or liabilities – for TIHT Chicago on ten years of Trump’s Statements of Financial Condition (SOFC).

The Chicago property is the only one that is completely blank and shows “0” on the SOFCs.

401 North Wabash Venture LLC is the company that is doing business as Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago.

The table shows that from 2014 to 2017 401 North Wabash Venture LLC had cash and short-term investments ranging from $10 million to almost $16 million annually.

In 2014 there is a Trump Int’l Hotel and Tower Chicago account with over $3 million. This account does not appear in other years.

From 2014 to 2017 the cash amounts for TIHT Chicago were larger than almost all other accounts except the four associated directly with Trump (DJT, DJT Revocable Trust, DJT Holdings, DJT Marketable Securities) and the 30% stake in Vornado properities (555 California and 1290 Ave of the Americas/HWA accounts).

401 North Wabash Venture LLC
(TIHT Chicago)
Trump Int’l Hotel and Tower Chicago 3,045,756
Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC
(creditor 2012 $50Mil+ loan Trump OGE form)

In 2016 the 401 North Wabash Venture LLC account had $15.9 million in cash, but Trump’s 2016 Statement of Financial Condition (SOFC) showed a value of “0” for TIHT Chicago.

In comparison, the 2016 SOFC listed the value of 40 Wall Street as $796 million (with liabilities of $156 million) while the 2016 cash and short-term investments only had $278,711 for the 40 Wall Street LLC account. Another example is Trump Plaza with a value of $47 million (liabilities of $14 million) in the 2016 SOFC and only $94,446 in cash in the Trump Plaza LLC account.

From 2017 to 2021 the cash and short-term investments for 401 North Wabash Venture LLC dropped from millions per year to a range of $56K to $360K annually.

While there may not be a direct correlation between the value of a property and the amount of cash in the account at the end of the fiscal year, it seems remarkable that TIHT Chicago had almost $16 million in the account in 2016, yet according to Trump’s SOFC the value of the property was zero. Although the New York attorney general case highlighted this discrepancy clearly, it does not mean that this should not be looked into further and that there is not more to reveal about the financials for TIHT Chicago.

2012 IL tax refund of almost $4 million

In 2014 the amount of $3,926,925.44 is listed with the description “2012 IL tax refund.”

I have not found prior reporting that there was almost $4 million listed in Trump’s 2014 documents for a 2012 IL tax refund. Presumably this is a tax refund from the State of Illinois, and if so it aligns with the description of the fraudulent scheme involving TIHT Chicago provided by the New York Attorney General in the fraud case:

Since 2009, this property’s value has been excluded from the statements because, according to sworn testimony, Mr. Trump did not want to take a position that would conflict with his contention to tax authorities that the property had become worthless, and thus formed the basis of a substantial loss under the federal tax code.

When Trump received the almost $4 million IL tax refund in 2012, it was the same year he received loans from Deutsche Bank for TIHT Chicago and the same year he received a ‘springing loan’ valued at over $50 million that appeared for four years on his government OGE financials forms.

The NYAG case Exhibit #228 is a 2012 Deutsche Bank form regarding a TIHT Chicago loan to Trump’s 401 North Wabash Venture LLC for up to $107 million.

The Deutsche Bank document includes the section below which says Trump elected not to include the value of TIHT Chicago in his financial statements ‘pending the completion of the updated appraisals as discussed herein’. This indicates that Trump omitted the TIHT Chicago value from his SOFCs because he was awaiting updated appraisals – which apparently have taken over ten years to complete (a situation that brings to mind Trump’s excuse about not releasing tax returns before the 2016 election because he was ‘waiting’ for the IRS to complete their audit).

The Deutsch Bank form notes a total appraised value for the residential component of TIHT Chicago of $239.3 million, debt of $107 million and a net equity value of $132.3 million. Although Deutsche Bank provided the $107 million loan they elected not to include the net equity value of TIHT Chicago, the property that the loan was for.

Half of the Daewoo $19.8 million loan was allocated to TIHT Chicago

In 2022 Forbes reported on almost $20 million in hidden debt Trump had while in office that was revealed by documents in the New York attorney general case:

The documents, compiled by the Trump Organization and obtained by the New York attorney general, show a previously unreported liability of $19.8 million listed as “L/P Daewoo.” The debt stems from an agreement Trump struck to share some of his licensing fees with Daewoo, a South Korean conglomerate that partnered with Trump on a project near the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

The documents from 2011 to 2016 show the balance of $19.8 million and then in 2017 the amount dropped to $4.3 million and the loan was then paid off altogether, athough it was not known “who exactly paid off the loan.”

What was not fully noted in the article was that almost half of the Daewoo loan was for TIHT Chicago.

This section on the Daewoo loan from the supporting documentation to the 2015 Statement of Financial Condition shows the detail for the loan, with the $19.8 million balance due. The original Daewoo allocation of $25 million included $11,681,211 for Trump Chicago Member and Trump Chicago Managing Member and $997,340 for Trump Chicago Development LLC, a total of almost $12.7 million – more than half of the loan was allocated to TIHT Chicago.

Per Forbes the $19.8 million loan from Daewoo was paid off in 2017. As noted earlier, the 401 North Wabash Venture LLC cash account balances dropped from $10 million to almost $16 million per year from 2014 to 2017 to a few hundred thousand and lower from 2018 onwards.

The mysterious Trump Chicago loan

For years many people (myself included) have puzzled over a mysterious 2012 loan related to TIHT Chicago that was listed on Trump’s government OGE form showing Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC as the creditor and the amount owed over $50 million.

In 2019 Mother Jones wrote about this loan and whether or not it was evidence of tax fraud.

Earlier this year the Daily Beast reported that the court monitor in the NYAG case said in a footnote that the loan “was believed to be between Donald J. Trump, individually, and Chicago Unit Acquisition for $48 million” and that “in recent discussions with the Trump Organization, it indicated that it has determined that this loan never existed.”

Trump’s lawyers later said that they had not said the loan does not exist but that there were no liabilities or obligations outstanding.

Trump listed the value of TIHT Chicago as “0” on his 2011 to 2021 statements of financial condition. This included the period when his cash and short-term investments show the account had millions of dollars in cash from 2014 to 2017 – amounts far higher than the accounts of other highly valued properties. And Trump’s 2014 cash and short-term investments list a 2012 IL tax refund of almost $4 million, in the same period that the Deutsch Bank TIHT Chicago loan document described a net equity valuation for TIHT Chicago’s residential component of $132 million.

Several mysteries remain related to TIHT Chicago: What was the $50 million+ Chicago Unit Acquisition Loan? Did it exist at all? Were the loan and Trump’s valuation of TIHT Chicago as “0” both part of a larger tax avoidance scheme that spanned multiple years?

The New York attorney general case ended and resulted in a huge judgment that Trump must pay or appeal. During the case hundreds of exhibits were posted publicly and can be accessed here. Many of these documents include details that have not yet been reported on and that may shed light into Trump’s financials. With Trump lunging into the 2024 election and mobilizing his followers and the GOP towards dangerous and extreme actions, it would be worthwhile to continue to follow the money. As Letitia James showed, following the money can lead to results and at least some accountability for Trump and his team. Hopefully the media won’t assume that the work is complete and will continue to dig into the details.

Note that the information in this article may be updated periodically and any significant changes will be noted.


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