Were Trump’s exaggerations of assets to obtain favourable loans a victimless crime?

Trump is only being asked to pay back the improper gains


There is an American colloquial expression used to convey someone's confusion or ignorance made globally famous in the 1979 movie “The Jerk”. The protagonist says he has trouble telling "the difference between shit and Shinola,” a brand of shoe polish that left shoes looking shiny, polished, and well-maintained. He admits he cannot even distinguish between a common household product and something unpleasant.

Trump supporters today are just as clueless, but not admitting anything; they are sure they are right, that the value overestimations made by Donald Trump over decades were simple braggadocio, after all, no one lost money, they say. “If it was a crime, it was a victimless crime,” they go on, “Why go after the guy for something that hurt no one?” But their reasoning that there is no victim shows just how much they have stepped in excrement.

Trump legal troubles are coming fast and faster, he paid a $91 million bond weeks ago and now has a $463 million bond to post by next week, The billionaire does not have the cash.

He is appealing the bond, and he is appealing the case claiming that despite having lied preposterously about his net worth and the size of his assets, he paid it all back. “It was a victimless crime," Trump and the GOP keep repeating, and Americans by the millions are buying it.

But should they? Or are they just as clueless as The Jerk?

Trump’s Shinola are the shiny buildings that he built by claiming other buildings were larger, taller, and valued more than they really were.

Here’s the crap: The loans he received under false pretenses were part of a limited pool of money and a limited risk these banks could fiducially take. Assets and value are limited, that is why it is called an economy.

But, we need to slow down here so that we can see through the Trump shit/Shinola sleight-of-hand.

Into that limited amount of money to loan come two businessmen: One an honest, law-abiding citizen, the other Trump, willing to say and do anything to get the loan; he tells the bank he is full of Shinola (now we know what it really was). All things being fair, both men would be required to be truthful in the information they provide. In fact, they are by law so required.

The honest man has no chance. His true assets cannot compete with all of Trump’s Shinola of overinflated asset value.

The bank compares the two financial representations and rejects the honest man’s loan application. Trump gets the money at favourable rates not warranted by his true assets and net worth.

In the illusion he created, the bank accepts to earn less interest to keep such seemingly worthy individual as as client. Regardless of whether he paid it back, the bank and its shareholders lost money, and that is even before considering the incredible risk they unwittingly took.

In the marketplace, Trump then goes out and competes with the honest businessman, running him out of business because of the unfair advantage he obtained by fraud.

The businessman is every New Yorker who played by the rules.

Every New Yorker who had ambitions for which he needed the money that illegally went to Trump, lost money. Every New Yoker in that playing field lost opportunity. And now has lost trust in a system that purports fairnes, and to have the same rules for everyone.

Thousands of dreams that would never be were lost to Trump’s Shinola. A Court found that he had unfairly and illegally enriched himself to the tune of $463 million dollars ($355 million in illicit gains plus simple interest).

Think of all the extra money those others had to pay in higher interest because there was now a limited pool of money (less supply equals more costs) as their truthful statements were trampled out of the game by Trump’s Shinola shoes hauling big cash, leaving little or none for them.

How many businesses would have been funded by those $355 million? How many families were affected? How many people had their American dream stolen by Trump’s Shinola lies? How much wealth they could have created was not because the money went to Trump unfairly?

In how many areas and affecting how many people did Trump run honest businessmen out of business because he could wield money he was not legally entailed to have borrowed?

Investment guru, "Shark Tank" judge and O'Leary Ventures Chairman Kevin O'Leary, self-annointed as “Mr. Wonderful” has been making the rounds as a celebrity stand-in for every Trump defender in this issue, saying the judgment came from a “rogue judge” who went far beyond the norms of the law and is putting New York business investments at risk.

“If you’re going to put billions of dollars to work somewhere in the world, the most coveted place to do it is in the United States of America. That is the brand of America,” O’Leary told Blake Burman on The Hill on NewsNation.
Really? The brand of America is deceit above the law?

“You don’t really want to mess with that.” added O’Leady, going on to say on CNN speaking to host Laura Coates, “This was a victimless crime. No one lost any money.”

Not so, Mr. Wonderful. Read above.

The Court found that Trump committed civil fraud, falsified business records, issued false financial statements, committed insurance fraud and conspiracy, noted Coates.

“Everything you just listed off is done by every real estate developer everywhere on earth, in every city,” said the real estate developer. “I am a real estate developer," he repeated. His assertion hung in the air, a damning self-indictment that exposed the very practices the Court has condemned.

O'Leary's bravado kept going strong as he questioned, "Do you think there is a chance I would ever take a chance on New York again?" Undeterred, he plowed forward, lost in the heat of an argument that proved him wrong, more wrong than his attorneys would ever want him to be, and on global television no less.
"This is about New York and its people," he concluded, his words ringing hollow at the border of a legal abyss well understood by the other panelists.

Indeed, it is about New York and its people deserving of leaders and businessmen who uphold the law, not circumvent it for personal gain. O'Leary's impassioned defense laid bare an unsettling disregard for the very principles that underpin the rule of law and a fair economic playing field.

Following this analysis, you know that saying no one lost money is just factually incorrect. It is even more incorrect to say the fraud was victimless.

In the realm of law, there exists a principle that delves into the intricacies of human suffering: the notion that the magnitude of a crime is intricately tied to the number of souls it touches. Like ripples on a tranquil pond disrupted by a stone's descent, the law seeks to measure the depth of anguish inflicted upon those ensnared in the grasp of Trump’s actions. In cases that affect ordinary Americans every day, those guilty are judged to account for each soul wounded, each heart shattered.

This philosophical underpinning reminds us of the law's core purpose – to protect the fragile bonds that hold society together. The true gravity of a crime extends beyond the act itself to the breadth of its impact on the delicate fabric of society. Law the reverberations of harm, echoing through lives, distorting destinies, and fracturing communities; ultimately, justice is not merely about deeds but the scars they leave on society and the human soul.

This principle stands against detached legal application, calling to balance the dispassionate letter of the law with the empathetic spirit of its intent. Despite the loud Trump complains received by wild cheers at his rallies, he is only being asked to pay back what he took improperly and illegally, In this case, he is being subjected to no other legal punishment.

People lost money. Businesses lost money. The banks lost money. New York lost money. The great financial center gave Trump the money to create opportunity countless others were denied, people who perhaps deserved it more. The ripples of his actions affected a broad swath of society.

Every one of those groups lost money by Trump deceit. Now the court has only ordered Trump to pay it back, and the “billionaire” has no bond. He has no bond because, having fallen for the Shinola bit, now the underwriters do not want to take as collateral that which they know is not-Shinola.

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