The Trump Org valued a golf course in Scotland based on a media quote, per a legal filing.
The firm said the the course was worth $161 million, five years after Trump bought it $12.6 million.
Trump denies wrongdoing, and claims the investigation is politically motivated.
The Trump Organization based its $161 million valuation for one of Donald Trump’s Scottish golf resorts on a quote a company executive gave to Forbes magazine, New York Attorney General Letitia James alleged.
In legal documents released Tuesday, the office of the New York attorney general claimed that properties and other assets had been falsely valued by the Trump Org in financial statements as part of a possible fraud scheme.
One of the businesses is the Trump International Golf Club Scotland, which is located near the city of Aberdeen.
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.
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.
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.”
Insider has contacted the Trump Organization and Sorial for comment.
In a statement Wednesday, the Trump Organization claimed the investigation was a politically-motivated bid to damage its owner.
“The only one misleading the public is Letitia James. She defrauded New Yorkers by basing her entire candidacy on a promise to get Trump at all costs without having seen a shred of evidence and in violation of every conceivable ethical rule,” said Trump.
James’s office also alleged that misleading values had been given for other properties, including Trump’s Park Avenue apartment complex, his Westchester golf club.
The documents were released after Trump sought to quash a subpoena seeking testimony from himself, his son, Donald Trump Jr., and his daughter, Ivanka Trump.
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