He sometimes sent them official-looking documents

David Fahrenthold and Jonathan O’Connell at the Post have the deets on how Trump faked his net worth to scam people. (I believe that’s a crime, by the way – the scamming, not the reporting.)

When Donald Trump wanted to make a good impression — on a lender, a business partner, or a journalist — he sometimes sent them official-looking documents called “Statements of Financial Condition.”

These documents sometimes ran up to 20 pages. They were full of numbers, laying out Trump’s properties, debts and multibillion-dollar net worth.

But, for someone trying to get a true picture of Trump’s net worth, the documents were deeply flawed. Some simply omitted properties that carried big debts. Some assets were overvalued. And some key numbers were wrong.

In other words he did his best to defraud lenders and business partners…and when it came time to run for president, us.

For instance, Trump’s financial statement for 2011 said he had 55 home lots to sell at his golf course in Southern California. Those lots would sell for $3 million or more, the statement said.

But Trump had only 31 lots zoned and ready for sale at the course, according to city records. He claimed credit for 24 lots — and at least $72 million in future revenue — he didn’t have.

He also claimed his Virginia vineyard had 2,000 acres, when it really has about 1,200. He said Trump Tower has 68 stories. It has 58.

That’s a lot of fraud. Bernie Madoff is in the pen for fraud as we speak.

Now, investigators on Capitol Hill and in New York are homing in on these unusual documents in an apparent attempt to determine whether Trump’s familiar habit of bragging about his wealth ever crossed a line into fraud.

Or to determine whether they can prosecute. The fraud seems pretty god damn obvious.

The Trump Organization also declined to comment about the statements or answer questions about specific errors the statements contained. Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, the president’s sons who are running his business, noted on social media that Cohen has provided false testimony about other topics.

Oh well that’ll take care of it. Just say stuff on social media and it will all blow over.

Farenthold and O’Connell say decorously that the Post has “reviewed copies of these documents,” which they obtained from various sources including…Cohen.

[Kyle Welch, an assistant professor of accountancy at George Washington University,] said Trump could be protected by disclaimers that his own accountants added to the statements, warning readers that they weren’t seeing the full picture. And in an odd way, Welch said, Trump could be helped by the sheer scale of the exaggerations. They were so far off from reality, Welch wondered whether any real bank or insurer could have been fooled.

Welch said he’d never seen a document stretch so far past the normal conventions of accounting.

“It’s humorous,” Welch said. “It’s a humorous financial statement.”

That’s what Trump does, isn’t it – his awfulness is so over the top we don’t know how to deal with it, and much of the time we do point and laugh.

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