According to a report in the New York Times, Donald Trump and his siblings set up phony businesses in the 1990’ to avoid paying millions of dollars in taxes. Then they used those same businesses to cheat thousands of their tenants out of millions of dollars in violation of New York City housing laws.
The Times said that in 1992, Trump and his family set up a phony company called All County Building Supply & Maintenance which did nothing but pay vendors — and then was reimbursed by their father, Fred Trump at a higher rate. The report states that money beyond what was legally proper was then split between the kids allowing them to avoid paying taxes on the excess cash, which amounted to millions of dollars.
The fraudulently-increased invoice amounts were then reported as “improvement costs” on thousands of apartments they owned. This allowed the Trumps to illegally raise rents on properties that were subject to rent control laws.
Trump’s brother Robert once admitted the scheme in a court case when he said, “The higher the markup would be, the higher the rent that might be charged.”
According to the Times, the tax and rent scam was a financial windfall for the Trumps, padding their pockets with millions of dollars of ill-gotten gains.
The total of the rent overcharges can be estimated from available records. An increase of $50 in 1995 on all of the 8,000 apartments involved would put the total overpaid by tenants at more than $160 million to date, according to an analysis done by the Times.
The Times also did an investigation of the Trump family’s finances, based on tax returns and confidential financial records. They found that Donald Trump, contrary to his lifelong claim of being a self-made billionaire, received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father. Much of this money came from cheating on taxes.
According to the Times, the Trump family fortune was increased by illegal schemes including instances of outright fraud.
They routinely failed to pay gift and estate taxes and according to the Times:
“Donald Trump was a central player in the formulation of those strategies, which included grossly undervaluing his father’s apartment complexes in tax filings, interviews and records showed. He also received tens of millions of dollars in gifts from his father that were disguised as loans or business investments.”
This new investigation shows that Donald Trump’s fortune was given to him by his father. The Trump fortune was also built on fraud, cheating poor people, and cheating the government out of taxes. Donald Trump has never earned an honest dollar in his life. He is a lifelong criminal and should not be President of the United States.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.