Sat. May 18th, 2024
Trump civil fraud trial continues in New York

Donald Bender steps out of the courtroom on Tuesday, October 3, in New York.
Donald Bender steps out of the courtroom on Tuesday, October 3, in New York. Seth Wenig/AP

Former President Donald Trump’s attorney Jesus Suarez is set to resume on Wednesday with his cross-examination of former Mazars accountant Donald Bender about his accountability as the longtime CPA for the Trump Organization and the former president. 

On Tuesday afternoon, Suarez peppered Bender with questions to establish the accountant’s knowledge of the inner workings of Trump’s business and how frequently he gave advice on business matters to the Trump Organization for decades. 

Bender said he occasionally reviewed loan agreements for the Trump Organization and did audit work for some Trump entities that owned properties over the years, including ones that are at issue in this case.

Suarez repeatedly asked Bender to acknowledge that the Trump Organization relied on him as its primary accountant.

Bender said his only duty was to compile the information given by the Trump Organization when it came to the statements of financial condition that the attorney general says were fraudulently created by the Trump Organization. 

Bender also testified that Trump Organization executives, including Allen Weisselberg and Donald Trump Jr., should have understood that property appraisals should’ve been included in the supporting data shared with Mazars to compile the statements of financial condition each year.

He also testified he did not see an error in the Trump Organization data misstating the square footage of Trump’s triplex apartment in Trump Tower.

“I missed it,” he said. 

Suarez reacted to that testimony saying Trump, his sons and their companies are going through “hell” in litigation over errors like the Trump Tower triplex square footage and its asset valuation because Bender didn’t catch it years ago. 

Bender pushed back that he did not “screw it up” as Suarez accused, and was only required to compile the statements of financial condition not check them for accuracy.

And said the Trumps are in this litigation, “because they misrepresented the numbers on the data.”

The Trump Tower triplex apartment was one of the properties highlighted in the lawsuit. It was listed at approximately 30,000 square feet in financial statements but, in reality, is around 11,000 square feet.

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