What is Donald Trump’s net worth?

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Donald Trump is having an expensive year.

Nearly six months into 2024, the former president is on trial in Manhattan in his first criminal case, where he could be hit with hefty fines if convicted.

This comes after two civil case rulings with multi-million dollar penalties. In January, a New York judge ordered Mr Trump to pay writer E Jean Carroll $83.3m after he was found liable for defaming her.

One month later, he was found liable for financial fraud in New York and ordered to pay more than $350m – though the bond was later brought down to $175m .

While Forbes estimated Mr Trump’s net worth at $2.6bn in September 2023, the pile-up of legal judgements poses substantial risk to his bottom line.

Here’s what Mr Trump’s financial situation looks like:

New York civil fraud trial ruling

After a months-long trial in New York Superior Court, Justice Arthur Engoron ruled in February that Mr Trump, his adult sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr, and former executives of the Trump Organization were liable for financial fraud.

The ruling ordered the co-defendants to pay $355m in fines after they “submitted blatantly false financial data” to obtain favorable rates on brand-building properties.

The judge also set limitations on each individual’s abilities to hold a leadership position in New York businesses or borrow from New York banks.

Following the ruling, the former president struggled to find financial backers to help him post the bond, and by mid-March the penalty had climbed to $464m with interest. But he finally received a lifeline when a New York appeals court reduced the bond to $175m – a sum that he then posted thanks to underwriter Hankey’s Knight Specialty Insurance Co.

Former President Donald Trump attends the closing arguments in the Trump Organization civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York on January 11 2024 (AP)
Former President Donald Trump attends the closing arguments in the Trump Organization civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York on January 11 2024 (AP)

E Jean Carroll defamation trial ruling

In 2023, Mr Trump was found liable for sexually assaulting Ms Carroll in the dressing room of Manhattan’s Bergdorf Goodman department store in the mid-1990s and then defaming her by lying about it.

Mr Trump’s subsequent denials, claiming never to have even met his accuser and insisting she was not his “type”, ultimately led to a second civil defamation trial that ended in January. The jury decided the former president should pay Ms Carroll a sum far in advance of the $10m she and her lawyer Roberta Kaplan had asked for as compensation for the reputational damage she had sustained.

The nine-member jury awarded Ms Carroll more than $83m in damages – $65m in punitive and $18.3m in compensatory damages.

E Jean Carroll (l) with her attorney, Roberta Kaplan (r) as they leave court following a jury’s decision to award Ms Carroll $83.3m in damages in her defamation case against Donald Trump (REUTERS)
E Jean Carroll (l) with her attorney, Roberta Kaplan (r) as they leave court following a jury’s decision to award Ms Carroll $83.3m in damages in her defamation case against Donald Trump (REUTERS)

Mr Trump posted a $91.6m bond in March to appeal the ruling. He was required to put up 110 per cent of the $83.3m judgment to pause collections while the appeal plays out.

So can Trump afford it?

According to Forbes, Mr Trump’s net worth stood at around $2.6bn in September 2023.

This is a marked increase from the $41.4m – or rumoured sum of $413m – that he is said to have inherited from his late father Fred Trump. But also some way short of The New York Times’ $3.2bn estimate of his net worth in 2021 or the $4.5bn he was worth in 2015, the year before he won the presidency.

Forbes estimate is based on the value of various assets in Mr Trump’s portfolio: golf clubs and resorts ($870m), New York City real estate ($690m), cash and personal assets ($640m), non-NYC real estate ($190m) and social media and brand businesses ($160m).

Of that $2.6bn total, Forbes calculates that Mr Trump has only $426m in cash and liquid assets with which he would be able to pay off his legal obligations.

Trump’s Mar-a-Lago private club and residence in Palm Beach, Florida (AP)
Trump’s Mar-a-Lago private club and residence in Palm Beach, Florida (AP)

On that basis, Bloomberg estimated that the civil fraud trial penalty would swallow up his liquid assets and eat into his net worth by as much as 15 per cent.

It is difficult to put an exact number on Mr Trump’s fortune, however, given that, when he was running for president in 2016 and throughout his single term in the White House between 2017 and 2021, he repeatedly refused to open his books for public scrutiny – falsely claiming he could not do so because he was under audit by the Internal Revenue Service.

Mr Trump’s predecessors and successor in the Oval Office all shared their financials with the American public.

This article was amended on 19 February 2024 to detail the 2018 claim that Donald Trump’s inheritance from his father was closer to $413m than $41.1m – although this was denied by Mr Trump. It has been updated since to reflect developments.