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HomeWorld newsDeutsche Bank sought to ‘whale’ of a client in Trump, continue relationship,...

Deutsche Bank sought to ‘whale’ of a client in Trump, continue relationship, former executive testifies

A former Deutsche Bank executive testified Wednesday that the bank viewed Donald Trump as a “whale” of a client, and sought to do additional business with him, while praising the Trump Organization for taking its properties from a “shell” into “fully operational” spaces.

Rosemary Vrablic, a former Deutsche Bank managing director, took the stand in the civil trial stemming from New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit against former President Trump, his family, and his businesses. James accused Trump of inflating his financial statements and deceiving banks.


Former President Trump and his family have denied any wrongdoing. The former president has repeatedly said his assets were actually undervalued. Trump has repeatedly said his financial statements had disclaimers, requesting that the numbers be evaluated by the banks.

Trump’s defense team has sought to show that the bank actually sought additional business from Trump — which Vrablic testified to Wednesday.

Judge Arthur Engoron

Justice Arthur Engoron presides over the civil fraud trial of former President Donald Trump and his children at New York State Supreme Court on November 13, 2023 in New York City.  (Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)

The bank’s revenue from its business with Trump increased from approximately $13,000 in 2011 to a projected $6 million in 2013, according to a briefing document the bank prepared for then-co-chairman, Anshu Jain, before a lunch with Trump in early 2013.

The document revealed “key asks” for Jain to make during that lunch with Trump, including to “obtain more deposits and investment management assets” from Trump, as well as to “strategically discuss leveraging Mr. Trump’s personal and professional network within the real estate industry” in New York for the benefit of Deutsche Bank.

“It was a very, very nice, productive lunch,” Vrablic recalled on the stand.

The next year, her direct boss went to lunch with Trump to thank him and “ask whether we can work on other opportunities with them,” according to a document for that meeting.


Vrablic also testified about Trump’s acquisition of the Old Post Office in Washington, D.C.

Former US President Donald Trump in court

Former US President Donald Trump prepares to testify during his trial at New York State Supreme Court in New York, on November 6, 2023. (JEFFERSON SIEGEL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“It was an empty shell,” she said of the space before the Trump Organization came in. “[The Trumps] took it from a shell to a fully operational hotel and event space.”

Vrablic was also asked if Deutsche Bank ever turned Trump down for a loan.

Vrablic said they did — a loan for the Scotland golf course, Trump International Golf Links Aberdeen, but only because Trump was about to become president and the bank did not want to increase exposure, amid concerns that increased exposure could bring additional scrutiny and carry more risk for the bank.

During cross-examination, Vrablic said she never saw Trump’s statement of financial condition. She also testified that she expected her clients to present their financial information accurately. 


James, a Democrat, sued Trump, his children, and the Trump Organization last year, alleging that he and his company misled banks and others about the value of his assets. James said the former president’s children — Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric — and his associates and businesses committed “numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation” on their financial statements.

Letitia James sits in courtroom audience of Trump trial

New York Attorney General Letitia James sits in the courtroom during the fraud trial of former President Donald Trump and his children on Friday, Nov. 03. (Dave Sanders-Pool/Getty Images)

James filed the lawsuit against Trump “under a consumer protection statute that denies the right to a jury,” a Trump spokesperson told Fox News Digital.

“There was never an option to choose a jury trial,” the spokesperson said. “It is unfortunate that a jury won’t be able to hear how absurd the merits of this case are and conclude no wrongdoing ever happened.”


Judge Arthur Engoron, who is presiding over the trial, in September ruled that Trump and the Trump Organization committed fraud while building his real estate empire by deceiving banks, insurers and others by overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing financing.

Trump defense attorneys say they will likely move for a mistrial.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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