Donald Trump Lost $916 Million "I think a good part of it was mistakes," said Barbara Res, a former executive vice president at the Trump Organization who managed construction at Trump Tower.
Res said the mistakes started in the 1980s, when Trump paid $365 million for the Eastern Air Lines Shuttle and $400 million for the Plaza Hotel. "He overpaid for all that stuff," said Res. "Those were not wise decisions. Those were mistakes on his part."
Those mistakes alone don't quite account for the $916 million Donald Trump reported losing on state tax returns in 1995, according to documents obtained by the New York Times. We don't know exactly where that figure comes from, because only a few pages were leaked. A loss that big could have allowed Trump to avoid paying federal income tax for years. At one point, Trump owed $3.4 billion. He was personally on the hook for more than $800 million. Pomerantz said investors lost big while Trump claimed the tax benefits for himself: "By doing that kind of very risky business — by being a gambler, if you will — he took an inappropriate risk for other people's money." Trump's biggest "gamble" — the one that may have hurt him the most — was on the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. Trump paid more than $600 million for the unfinished casino, which he billed as the "eighth wonder of the world." It opened in 1990 and filed for bankruptcy the next year. "We certainly knew that the big financial picture for Trump was terrible," said Steven Perskie, who was the head of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission at the time. The commission could have revoked Trump's gaming license. The fortune of the nation's commander-in-chief shrank by $600 million, to $3.1 billion, dropping him from 156th place to 248th place in the 2017 Forbes 400 ranking, the magazine reported Tuesday. The decline means Trump is now tied with Snapchat creator Evan Spiegel in the 2017 Forbes ranking. A Trump Organization representative did not respond to an email seeking comment. Trump, who has challengedForbes' wealth estimates and rankings in the past, did not immediately tweet any response Tuesday morning. A tough New York real estate market, a $25 million lawsuit settlement and a costly presidential campaign all contributed to the decline, Forbes reported. Values of several New York City properties, including those on or near Manhattan's Fifth Ave. — where Trump Tower is located — have fallen since the last ranking, Forbes reported. The reductions sliced an estimated $400 million from Trump's fortune, the magazine estimated. Lower values at some of Trump's golf properties also took a financial toll, as some potential guests stayed away, Forbes said.
Trump also spent $66 million on his 2016 presidential campaign win over Hillary Clinton. Forbes reported. Additionally, he reached a $25 million settlement of a lawsuit over his now-defunct Trump University — where some former students charged they were falsely promised classes that would teach them the secrets of his real estate success.