An accounting expert who came to Donald Trump’s defense in his $250m fraud has racked up nearly $900,000 in fees for his testimony, a court heard on Friday.
New York University Stern School of Business research professor Eli Bartov testified on Thursday that he had found “no evidence here of concealment” in his review of the financial statements at the heart of the case.
On Friday, Bartov was asked about how much he had been paid for his services. Bartov is a leading accountancy expert and it is standard practice in the US legal system for expert witnesses to be paid.
In a deposition taken in July, Bartov disclosed that he was being paid $1,350 an hour to work on the case. In court, he said he had now worked about 650 hours on the case, which would total $877,500.
According to ABC News, the prosecution’s sole expert witness, Michiel McCarty, chairman and chief executive at the investment bank MM Dillon & Co, was paid about $350,000 for his testimony.
Questioned by lawyers for New York’s attorney general, Bartov said the money had come from the Trump Organization and the former president’s political action committee, Save America.
Trump, his older sons and executives at his company are charged with exaggerating the value of their assets in order to obtain more favorable loans. They deny the charges.
After Bartov’s testimony on Thursday, Trump told reporters: “He found absolutely no fraud, accounting fraud of any kind. This is a highly respected man. I don’t know him, but he’s an expert witness.”
Trump will testify in the case for a second time on Monday. Bartov will return to the stand on Tuesday.