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Trump fraud trial live updates: Deutsche Bank made money from Trump, defense emphasizes

The former president is on trial in New York for allegedly defrauding lenders.

Former President Donald Trump is on trial in New York in a $250 million civil lawsuit that could alter the personal fortune and real estate empire that helped propel Trump to the White House.

Trump, his sons Eric Trump and and Donald Trump Jr., and other top Trump Organization executives are accused by New York Attorney General Letitia James of engaging in a decade-long scheme in which they used "numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation" to inflate Trump's net worth in order get more favorable loan terms. The trial comes after the judge in the case ruled in a partial summary judgment that Trump had submitted "fraudulent valuations" for his assets, leaving the trial to determine additional actions and what penalty, if any, the defendants should receive.

The former president has denied all wrongdoing and his attorneys have argued that Trump's alleged inflated valuations were a product of his business skill.


Deutsche Bank expected Trump to value assets fairly, banker says

Former Deutsche Bank managing director Rosemary Vrablic testified on cross-examination by state attorneys that Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Donald Trump Jr. secured private financing using recourse -- meaning they were personally liable for the loan.

"Sorry about the recourse issue -- a dirty word, I know -- but it is a requirement in private banking," Vrablic wrote in a 2011 introductory email to Donald Trump Jr.

Vrablic confirmed that each of the Trumps she worked with -- Donald, Ivanka, and Donald Trump Jr. -- used a personal guaranty to secure better financing terms.

"It gives the flexibility to be creative on some solutions because the person is standing behind it," Vrablic testified.

State attorney Kevin Wallace appeared to focus on the personal guaranty during the cross-examination, with the discussion bringing the focus back on the representation of the value of Trump's assets.

While Vrablic confirmed that she never personally reviewed Donald Trump's statement of financial condition, she said the bank still expected it was accurate.

"You would have had an expectation that a borrower like Mr. Trump would present their financial information fairly?" Wallace asked.

"Yes," Vrablic replied.


Deutsche Bank made money from Trump, defense emphasizes

Defense attorney Jesus Suarez, in his direct examination of Deutsche Bank managing director Rosemary Vrablic, emphasized that Deutsche Bank was eager for Trump's business and made money from the loans they offered him.

"Your family is in the top 10 revenue generating names of Asset and Wealth Management now and he is thrilled with how it's grown," Vrablic wrote in a 2014 email to Ivanka Trump, referring to Vrablic's boss at Deutsche Bank.

That same year, Vrablic estimated that the bank made more than $6.8 million in fees from the Trump Organization.

Vrablic described her role as an intermediary between lenders at the bank and Ivanka Trump, both hunting for deals within the bank and courting the Trumps for increased business.

"Existing customers are the best source of additional customers," Vrablic said about importance of Trump's business, given his connections in real estate and his wealthy family.


Bank was concerned DC hotel deal could publicize loan terms

Deutsche Bank managing director Rosemary Vrablic expressed concern about the public nature of Donald Trump's 2012 acquisition of the Old Post Office building in Washington, D.C., fearing the deal might publicize the favorable loan terms offered by the bank, according to evidence presented at trial.

"Will our terms and conditions with you be made public? Not a credit issue, but we want to be prepared if 'other clients' see it and ask for the same deal," Vrablic wrote in a 2013 email shown at trial.

The Trump Organization won the bidding process with the federal government in 2012 for the property, and Deutsche Bank loaned the firm the money for the renovation of the decrepit building.

"We won! We're very very excited!" Ivanka Trump wrote in a 2012 email to Vrablic.

Vrablic, concerned about the loan terms being publicized, said, "We would not talk about that," regarding the importance of keeping the terms private from other high-net-worth clients.

Vrablic could not recall how the loan term details were protected, but she confirmed that Deutsche Bank made $3.3 million from their loan to the Trump Organization related to the property.



Scrutiny over Trump's presidency prompted bank to halt relationship

Deutsche Bank decided to stop doing new business with Donald Trump due to the "increased exposure" and "scrutiny" related to his being elected president, according to testimony from Deutsche Bank managing director Rosemary Vrablic.

"It was an unprecedented situation to have a customer who was going to become president of the United States," Vrablic said.

By the time Trump was elected, the bank had made three profitable loans to Trump, making a projected $6.8 million in revenue from Trump in 2014. Vrablic confirmed that by July 2015, Trump had $31 million in cash deposits with the bank, and his associated entities stored $86 million in cash deposits.

However, the scrutiny of Trump's presidency prompted the bank to decide not to increase its exposure, including declining to offer Trump a loan for his golf course in Turnberry, Scotland.

"He was president of the United States -- going to become president of the United States -- and the bank's position was they did not want to increase its exposure at that time," Vrablic testified.


Co-defendant Jeffrey McConney returns to stand

Forty-five days after he began his testimony as the third witness in the state's case, former Trump Organization controller and co-defendant Jeffrey McConney has returned to the witness stand for the defense.

When he testified last month, McConney -- who was the primary person responsible for the valuations in Trump's statement of financial statements between 2011 and 2017 -- struggled to recall specific details about the preparation of the financial documents, though he acknowledged he took direction from Eric Trump about the value of a Westchester golf course.

This afternoon, after asking some preliminary questions about McConney's biography, defense attorney Jesus Suarez began asking McConney pointed questions about Mazars USA accountant Donald Bender, another witness in the state's case.

"Whatever he asked for, we would do," McConney said about Bender's role in the process of compiling Trump's financial statement.