Keeping tabs on former President Donald Trump’s legal woes is much more difficult than tracking his net worth. Although his social media business wiped out hundreds of millions from his vast fortune earlier this year, Trump has never had to worry too much about money. With an estimated net worth in the billions of dollars, his personal riches aren’t in question.
The former President has been charged with dozens of felonies across four cases: two federal, one in New York and another in Georgia related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in the Peach State, CNN reported.
Federal charges of taking and mishandling classified documents after leaving office and New York City charges contending that Trump concealed hush money paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels will both be put to trial in 2024.
However, it’s a separate civil fraud trial that began in New York on Oct. 2 that is headlining the news as of late. The case, brought by state Attorney General Letitia James, accuses Trump, his two adult sons, his company and top executives of fraudulently inflating the values of their assets to get tax benefits and advantageous loan terms.
Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron laid into Trump with possible jail time today over a “blatant violation” of a partial gag order in his $250 million New York fraud trial, per CNBC.
The charges come as Trump attempts to win re-election to the White House in the 2024 election. He and much of the Republican party have lashed out against the various indictments, claiming they are politically motivated.
Although his legal bills continue to pile up, it is uncertain how much (if any) Trump is paying out of his own pocket. As previously reported by GOBankingRates, much of the money donated to Trump’s Save America political action committee has been used to pay his legal bills. This is supported by a mid-year FEC filing which showed the PAC had spent approximately $25 million in the first half of 2023, $21.6 million on legal fees.
Trump’s campaign funds could be frozen if federal prosecutors determine that the money has been misused, Newsweek reported. But for now, there’s nothing stopping Trump from spending PAC money on his and his allies’ legal bills — meaning there probably hasn’t been much impact on his net worth due to legal problems, though other forces have impacted it.
Donald Trump Is Worth $2.6 Billion
Forbes estimated Trump’s net worth at $3 billion a year ago, but it dropped to $2.5 billion in the publication’s April 2023 list of the richest people in the world. According to Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires List, Trump is worth $2.6 billion.
Trump’s social media business, which includes Truth Social, was once estimated to be worth $730 million, but it has dropped in value to less than $100 million, Forbes reported. Trump announced the formation of the platform in October 2021 and launched it in February 2022. According to Search Logistics, Truth Social has about 2 million active users.
Trump dropped off the Forbes 400 list in 2023 and currently is the 1,182nd richest person in the world, as of Oct. 23, 2023.
Prior to this dip, Trump’s wealth had rebounded after he lost roughly half of his net worth during his time in office as president as several organizations stopped doing business with him or any of his properties. Forbes listed him with a net worth of $4.5 billion in 2016 and $2.1 billion in 2020.
Much of his current wealth is tied up in New York real estate, which has struggled to regain ground after the COVID-19 pandemic sent people home to work remotely, according to Forbes.
Donald Trump’s Start in Business
At the time of his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was the oldest person to be sworn into the office of the president of the United States. He was 70 years, 220 days old on Jan. 20, 2017. (That title now belongs to President Joe Biden, who was 78 when he was sworn in). Trump beat out a number of contenders to become the Republican nominee for the 2016 presidential election. He went on to defeat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. His term ended on Jan. 20, 2021, when Biden began his term as the 46th president.
Trump was born into a wealthy family and inherited about $40 million from his late father, real estate developer Fred Trump. In 1971, Donald Trump became head of what would later be known as The Trump Organization.
Trump’s earnings and inheritance helped him to develop more than 500 companies. The business mogul has held stakes in luxury golf courses, skyscrapers, television shows, casinos, books, merchandise and now, social media.
Donald Trump’s Business Successes
In 1980, Trump landed a deal with Hyatt, the city of New York and the unprofitable Commodore Hotel beside Grand Central Station, earning the right to renovate and rebrand the ailing hotel into the Grand Hyatt. The property became an instant success, making Trump one of the best-known real estate developers in the area.
In 1984, Trump completed construction on the 68-story Trump Tower, which serves as headquarters for The Trump Organization to this day. The building includes a 60-foot waterfall and, on opening day, had five levels of retail stores and restaurants.
Trump has owned a slew of successful businesses and properties, among them Trump Place, a luxury residential community spanning 92 acres. The Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago has a hotel, condos and numerous restaurants and shops. The success of Wollman Rink, a Central Park staple, is arguably credited to Trump, who refurbished the ice rink in the 1980. The Trump Organization ran it under contract with New York City for several years.
However, following the storming of the U.S. Capitol, New York City announced that it was severing its business ties with Trump. On Jan. 13, 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the city would be terminating three contracts with The Trump Organization that would cease its operations of a carousel in Manhattan’s Central Park, two skating rinks and a golf course in the Bronx.
Also in January 2021, the PGA of America stripped Trump’s golf course in Bedminister, New Jersey, of the honor of hosting the 2022 PGA Championship. In Europe, golf organizers said Trump’s club in Turnberry, Scotland, would be out of the running to host The Open Championship “for the foreseeable future.”
Donald Trump’s Failed Businesses
Donald Trump has major business wins to his name, but he also has had some big losses.
In 1988, Trump spent $365 million on a fleet of Boeing 727s, as well as landing facilities in Boston, New York City and Washington, D.C. He also bought the rights to paint his name on a plane. His attempt to build a luxury flying experience under the Trump Shuttle name failed, however, and the company was decommissioned.
In 1990, the banks that backed Trump’s investments provided him with a $65 million bailout in new loans and credit. Trump’s famous Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, went bankrupt in 1991, and Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts went bankrupt in 2004. In 2009, the same company — now called Trump Entertainment Resorts — filed for bankruptcy again.
One of Trump’s highest-profile business failures is Trump University. The unaccredited online college was launched in 2005 and closed down in 2010. Three Trump University lawsuits plagued his 2016 presidential campaign, alleging that Trump University was a scam that cost students tens of thousands of dollars. Trump settled the lawsuits for $25 million, though he did not admit any wrongdoing.
Donald Trump’s Wife and Family
Donald Trump has been married three times. He was with his first wife, Ivana, from 1977 to 1992. The couple had three children together: Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric. The three eldest Trump children — along with Ivanka’s husband, real estate investor and developer Jared Kushner — were highly involved in their father’s presidency.
Trump married Marla Maples in December 1993, two months after Maples gave birth to their daughter, Tiffany. The couple divorced in 1999.
Trump has been married to his current wife and former first lady, Melania Trump, who has an estimated net worth of $50 million, since 2005. Melania is the mother of Trump’s youngest son, Barron, who was born in March 2006.
Donald Trump’s Lifestyle
Before moving to the White House, Donald, Melania and Barron Trump lived in a three-floor penthouse in Trump Tower in Manhattan, where they enjoyed an indoor fountain and a door encrusted with diamonds and gold, according to a report from Business Insider.
In October 2019, he filed paperwork to officially move his permanent residence to Florida, which Forbes speculated could have been because of more favorable tax and financial laws in the state.
Among the properties Trump owns is Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, where he spent 25 of his first 100 days in office and currently resides with Melania and Barron. The luxury club is worth $300 million, according to Forbes, and sits on 17 acres of valuable South Florida land. Trump bought the estate — which boasts 58 bedrooms, 33 bathrooms, 12 fireplaces and three bomb shelters — for the bargain price of $10 million in 1985.
Before having access to Air Force One, Trump shuttled between campaign stops in his $100 million Boeing 757 adorned with gold seatbelts. The fleet of luxury vehicles Trump has owned at one time included a Rolls Royce, an electric blue 1997 Lamborghini Diablo and a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.
It isn’t clear what’s in the garage at Mar-a-Lago now, but Trump doesn’t need much more than a golf cart to get around the estate. According to Reader’s Digest, former presidents are only allowed to drive on private property and not on public roads. Instead, they are driven by Secret Service agents who have been “trained in evasive driving maneuvers,” according to the report.
Trump’s 2024 Presidential Run
On Nov. 15, 2022, from his home in Mar-a-Lago, the former president announced his bid for re-election in 2024 after underwhelming midterm election results for the Republican party. His indictment, and possible conviction, will not block him from being president again since the Constitution does not prevent felons from holding office, according to Time.
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