Trump Organization based $161 million valuation of Scotland golf course on magazine quote: New York AG
Donald Trump in Scotland (AFP)

According to Business Insider, New York Attorney General Letitia James is alleging that the Trump Organization based their $161 million valuation of the Trump International Golf Club Scotland in Aberdeen on a quote one of their executives gave to Forbes magazine, rather than a legitimate accounting analysis.

"According to the filing, the property was bought by the Trump Organization, the umbrella company for Trump's businesses, in 2006 for $12.6 million," reported Tom Porter. "But in financial statements in 2011 it was valued at £75 million or $161 million. 'This valuation appears to have been based on an email prepared to provide information to Forbes magazine for a quote and was not professionally determined,' a statement from James's office said."

"The email containing the valuation was sent by former Trump Org executive George Sorial, according the documents," continued the report. "Sorial's quote to Forbes, as described in the legal documents, said 'although a formal appraisal has not been prepared at this point,' the $161 million valuation was arrived at by 'speaking with specialists in the field and having closely watched this development transform itself over the last five years.'"

One of the key matters being investigated by New York State officials is whether the Trump Organization kept two sets of books, overvaluing their properties in reports to banks in order to qualify for more favorable loan terms, while undervaluing their properties in reports to the IRS to reduce what they owe in taxes.

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Former President Donald Trump has alleged that the New York investigation is politically motivated and has filed a lawsuit alleging that James is violating his civil rights. James has not backed down, saying the former president "doesn't get to dictate the investigation."

Some officials in Scotland have separately tried to secure an "unexplained wealth order" to investigate how Trump acquired his properties there, although that measure failed.