Trump claims FEC filing demonstrates sky-high wealth, income

Form conflates personal income and company revenue, requires only vague valuations

May.May 19, 2016 02:15 PM

From the New York websitePresumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has long said he’s worth $10 billion, and now claims a new conflict-of-interest disclosure filing proves it. It doesn’t.

Trump’s filing showed the businessman’s “tremendous cash flow” and was “the largest in the history of the F.E.C.” his campaign claimed in a news release, referring to the Federal Election Commission.

On the form, which requires all presidential candidates to disclose the sources of their income and the business entities they own, Trump claims an income of at least $615 million, according to the New York Times with large parts of his income stemming from his sale of the Miss Universe pageant and revenues from his many golf courses.

He reported assets of at least $1.5 billion, and liabilities of about $315 million, according to the Times.

But those numbers need to be taken with a hearty grain of salt.

The F.E.C. form, unlike Trump’s tax return – which the candidate has so far refused to release – is only designed to disclose potential conflicts of interest. Only income and revenue matter for that purpose, not business expenses, so the disclosure of those latter figures is optional, an F.E.C. official confirmed to The Real Deal.

In addition, incomes and company values on the form are given as wide ranges rather than specific figures, such $1 million to $5 million, with the highest range going to infinity (over $5 million, in the case of income).

Still, the forms are audited by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at the nonprofit Public Citizen, told TRD earlier this year that candidates are expected to “provide a reasonable estimate of the value [of their assets] and the source of that value.”

TRD analyzed Trump’s brand income – for which expenses aren’t an issue – using his previous disclosure filing in its April issue, finding he made between about $9 million and $36 million from his name between January 2014 and June 2015.

In 2013, TRD undertook a more thorough review of the mogul’s assets around the world.

Related Articles

Daily Digest Miami

Missoni Baia lands massive loan, Babylon Brickell owner sells Overtown property: Daily digest

Donald and Melania Trump at the entrance way of Mar-a-Lago (Credit: Getty Images)

With move to Mar-a-Lago, Trump could use Florida real estate law to protect himself from creditors

Donald Trump at Trump National Doral (Credit: Getty Images)

Former members of Trump Doral may have to wait decades to get their deposits back

President Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images, Mar-A-Lago Club)

Trump properties in Palm Beach County could get $1.5M tax bill

Dmitry Rybolovlev, Donald Trump, and 5252 North Country Road (Credit: Getty Images)

Russian oligarch sells last piece of former Trump estate in Palm Beach for $37M

President Trump and Mar-a-Lago (Credit: Getty Images)

Revenue fell at Trump’s Palm Beach properties in 2018

Donald Trump and Trump Doral (Credit: Getty Images)

Trump Doral’s financial results falter due to Trump name: report

Jorge Pérez on building golf courses in Cuba with Trump, stepping down as president and more

Jorge Pérez on building golf courses in Cuba with Trump, stepping down as president and more