Contact Us

Trump Attorney Accuses Appraiser Of Lying After He Denied Working On Valuations

Attorneys for former President Donald Trump accused appraisal expert Doug Larson of perjury following his Tuesday testimony in a civil fraud trial against The Trump Organization.

Larson, now with Newmark, was with Cushman & Wakefield until 2017, during the period when the alleged work took place. In his testimony, he refuted The Trump Organization's claims that he worked with it to determine the value of buildings the company owns.

40 Wall Street

The Trump Organization, in various spreadsheets it created from 2013 to 2017, cited Larson as the expert who provided valuation information by phone for major Trump Organization properties, including Trump Tower, Niketown and 40 Wall Street, according to evidence presented by the Office of the New York State Attorney General, which is the plaintiff in the suit.

Larson says those phone calls never happened.

"Is it fair to say that Mr. Trump valued Trump Tower at $526M in conjunction with you?" State's Attorney Mark Ladov asked Larson during his testimony in New York Supreme Court, ABC News reported

"No, that is incorrect," Larson said.

"Did you work with Mr. McConney in 2013 to determine the cap rate that he used to value his property?" Ladov asked further, referring to Trump Organization controller Jeffrey McConney.

Larson again responded that he did not.

The prosecution asserted the valuations were instead determined by using metrics from a generic email Larson sent clients. 

Cap rates are a measure the real estate industry uses to assess an asset's profitability and potential for return. A cap rate is determined by dividing a property's net operating income by its market value or purchase price.

On Wednesday morning, defense attorney Lazaro Fields produced emails between Larson and McConney discussing market conditions.

"You lied yesterday, didn't you?" Fields said to Larson, ABC reported.

Larson agreed conversations about sales and the broader market took place, but he denied discussing the value of The Trump Organization's 40 Wall Street in 2013, per ABC.

Larson on Tuesday denied having knowledge that The Trump Organization was citing him as the valuation source. He said the firm's $287M valuation of its Niketown property "doesn't make sense" and said it was "inaccurate and inappropriate" that the company cited his appraisals in work papers.

Larson admitted Wednesday under cross-examination that he knew The Trump Organization was using his commentary to determine the cap rates of its properties, seemingly contradicting his earlier testimony, per ABC.

Neither Larson nor The Trump Organization responded Wednesday morning to a request from Bisnow for further comment.

Judge Arthur Engoron has already ruled for the prosecution, holding The Trump Organization liable for civil fraud for systematically misrepresenting the value of its holdings for tax advantages or to receive better loan terms. The goal of the trial now is to assess damages.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is seeking $250M in fines, along with a complete dissolution of The Trump Organization within New York state.

Engoron revoked licenses used by The Trump Organization and other companies owned by the former president's children, though an appeals court temporarily stayed that decision earlier this month.