A new investigation into the Trump Organization revealed that the entire family business is a decades-long scam to bilk investors out of money when projects fail.
An investigation by ProPublica and WNYC revealed:
Patterns of deceptive practices occurred in a dozen deals across the globe, as the business expanded into international projects, and the Trumps often participated. One common pattern, visible in more than half of those transactions, was a tendency to misstate key sales numbers.
In interviews and press conferences, Ivanka Trump gave false sales figures for projects in Mexico’s Baja California ; Panama City, Panama ; Toronto and New York’s SoHo neighborhood . These statements weren’t just the legendary Trump hype; they misled potential buyers about the viability of the developments.
Another pattern: Donald Trump repeatedly misled buyers about the amount (or existence) of his ownership in projects in Tampa, Florida; Panama; Baja and elsewhere. For a tower planned in Tampa, for example, Trump told a local paper in 2005 that his ownership would be less than 50 percent: “But it’s a substantial stake. I recently said I’d like to increase my stake but when they’re selling that well they don’t let you do that.” In reality, Trump had no ownership stake in the project.
Trump isn’t a brilliant businessman. He is a scammer.
The Trump scam worked like this. They would take investor money for anywhere that they could get it. Banks were reluctant to lend to Trump after his five bankruptcies, so the pressure was on to mislead investors and buyers, which is exactly what Trump and his kids did. The Trumps inflated their ownership role in projects while taking a cut of many areas and profiting even when projects failed, and investors lost their money.
The Trump family is not a tale of dynastic business titans.
In many ways, the Trump family business is an endless pump and dump scam.
The Trumps inflate the value of projects to get funding, lie to investors about sales, and then cash out before the whole thing collapses into a pile of debt. The same dynamic is playing out in the Trump presidency. Trump overinflates success, lies about the facts, like the tax cuts for the rich exploding the deficit, and he expects to politically profit as it all crumbles.
The Trump family has made money through fraud and failure. It is all that Trump knows how to do. Given this context, it is not surprising that Trump can’t be a successful president.
The Trump family scammed their way into the White House, and now the only direction left to go is down.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Follow Jason Easley on Facebook.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association