Nel's New Day

September 27, 2020

DDT’s Financial Affairs Prove Him Liar, Cheat, Bully

Filed under: taxes — trp2011 @ 11:39 PM
Tags: , , ,

In the past, weekends were fairly peaceful in the news—just a few Friday dumps from politicians wanting to minimize a disaster. Not with Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). Today was a prime example when the New York Times released extensive information about his fraud in income tax filings. He constantly lied about not being able to release the returns while he’s being audited, but this lengthy newspaper article reveals how DDT has freeloaded on the U.S. public and used his position in the White House to make money. During over two decades: 

In 2016 and 2017, DDT, who claims to be unbelievably wealthy, paid only $750 each year in federal income taxes. (The NYT did not obtain his personal tax returns for 2018 and 2019.) Yet he paid $15,598 to Panama, $145,000 to India, and $156,824 to the Philippines.

In ten of the previous 15 years he paid zero taxes by claiming he lost more money than he made. While DDT campaigned on his statement he was “really rich” and had “built a great company,” he paid zero tax for 2014—for the fourth year.

A decade ago, he took a $72.9 million tax refund that could cost him over $100 million if it is found fraudulent. (Check the article for details.)

DDT makes more and more of his money from conflicts of interest with his position in the Oval Office.

A lawyer for the Trump Organization, Alan Garten, denied DDT didn’t pay taxes but used the term “personal taxes,” which could be taxes paid for his household employees such as Social Security and Medicare. Garten also stated DDT uses “tax credits” to pay for what he is owed, which isn’t money paid to the U.S.

The tax data shows write-offs of over $2 million in 2016 and 2017 for a criminal defense lawyer to defend DDT from the Russian investigation and problems with his fraudulent charitable foundation now determined illegal. Another tax scam deducted a mansion used as a family retreat. With no explanation, general and administrative expenses at DDT’s Bedminster golf club in New Jersey went up five times from 2016 to 2017. Other write-offs include hair stylists ($70,000), photographer ($210,000), table linens ($109,433)—anything he uses for “promotion.” He also wrote off Ivanka Trump’s $95,464 for a hair and makeup artist. The IRS requires deducted expense be “ordinary and necessary.

DDT claims that his annual financial disclosures tell the entire story about his finances, but they report only revenue, not profit. Most of his main enterprises such as his golf courses and the Washington hotel, lose tens of millions every year. Money from The Apprentice and licensing deals is disappearing, and he sold almost all his stocks. Within the next four years, over $300 million in loans come due.

DDT uses his properties to collect money from lobbyists, foreign officials, and anyone else who wants to curry favor with him. Mar-a-Lago brought him an additional $5 million a year starting in 2015, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association paid at least $397,602 to him for an event at the Washington hotel.

Although DDT said he would pursue no new foreign deals after he was inaugurated, he made $73 million from abroad in his first two years, several from licensing deals in authoritarian countries or places with dicey geopolitics such as Philippines, India, Turkey, and Philippines.

DDT made $2.3 million from the Moscow Miss Universe in 2016 after the Agalarov family, who helped set up the 2016 meeting seeking dirt on Hillary Clinton, underwrote the event.

In 1995, DDT declared a loss of almost $1 billion, allowing him to avoid federal income taxes for almost two decades, but in 1995 he gained $427.4 million from The Apprentice. He made another $176.5 million in profit from two office buildings. Taxes for the year should have been over $100 million.

During The Apprentice, DDT bought 13 golf courses and transformed Washington’s Old Post Office building into a hotel, losing more money. For example, Miami’s Trump National Doral was purchased for $150 million in 2012 and lost $162.3 million in the next six years. Tax records show DDT spent $213 million and has a $125 mortgage due in three years. He reported losing over $315.6 million on his golf courses, including a loss of $63.6 for the two in Scotland and one in Ireland. The Washington hotel shows a loss of $55.5 million, and another loss of $134 million came from his real estate services company.

DDT’s supposed taxable income in 2016 and 2017 included profits from “celebrity status” ($24.8 million) and the loans he didn’t repay ($56.4 million), giving him a tax of $1 million for 2016 and $4.2 million for 2017—amounts disappearing by the time he filed his taxes because he used $9.7 million in business investment credits partly for the hotel renovation. The result was payment of $750 in taxes per year.

Between 2010 and 2018, DDT wrote off $26 million in unidentified consultants’ fees, some of them matched to payments to Ivanka Trump. The amounts were about one-fifth of his income; i.e., $1.1 million for $5 million on a failed hotel deal in Azerbaijan. The recipient was identified through Ivanka’s financial disclosures from 2017. Some businesses have paid IRS penalties for schemes avoid taxes through exorbitant fees to people who are not actually independent contractors. DDT’s father used this scheme to avoid gift taxes on millions he transferred to his children. About the Azerbaijan deal, a Trump Organization lawyer said, “We did not pay any money to anyone.” A person connected to developing two Trump towers in Tukey said it had no consultant, but tax records show consultant fees for $2 million. Ivanka Trump’s website described her role not as consultant but as a senior executive.

The NYT exposé describing DDT’s fraudulent tax practices and his incompetent business abilities follows news about Mary Trump’s lawsuit against him. People voted for DDT because they thought he was a good businessman, but his history shows him as a bully and a cheat as well as a failure. In 1990, he faced personal bankruptcy from creditors and a possible billion-dollar bill in divorcing his first wife, Ivana. DDT failed with his casino empire and the Trump Shuttle airline but got a $100 million line of credit and other money from bankers so they wouldn’t go down with him. As DDT’s debts mounted, Sr funneled $3.35 million into one of DDT’s casinos by paying for 670 gambling chips worth $5,000, but DDT still faced six corporate bankruptcies.

To salvage his financial problems, DDT sent two of his father’s trusted associates, an accountant and lawyer, to force Fred Trump, Sr, into immediately signing a codicil to his will putting DDT completely in charge. At 85, Trump Sr had hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate but faced cognitive issues. The charge is confirmed by a tape recording of DDT’s sister Maryanne Trump Barry, outraged about DDT’s efforts for a will change while his father was “in dementia.” Barry’s husband, a lawyer, said the codicil gave everything to DDT, and she persuaded her father not to follow DDT’s wishes. Mary Trump wrote the change would put his siblings “at Donald’s financial mercy, dependent on his approval for the smallest transaction.” An expert on New York estate law agreed. The codicil to the will would also protect all of DDT’s inheritance from seizure by Ivana and creditors.

The lawsuit by Mary L. Trump, Trump Sr’s granddaughter and DDT’s niece, against Sr’s estate executors DDT, Barry, and the estate of their deceased brother Robert Trump is about their lies concerning the “true value” of what she should have inherited from her grandfather. She and her brother, Fred III, went to court in 2000 to argue their grandfather was not of sound mind when he disinherited them in September 1991, alleging the will was “the product of undue influence and coercion” by DDT and his siblings. A physician wrote Sr had “significant memory impairment” and “early signs of dementia” only a month later. In another four months, a neuropsychological evaluation showed Sr’s mental state to be much worse—below the 15th percentile for a person in his age group. Yet DDT insisted in a deposition he have never seen or heard any evidence of his father’s decline throughout this time.

DDT and Robert threatened to withdraw medical care provided by the Trump Organization for the infant son of Fred III and Mary Trump’s nephew, William, who had cerebral palsy. DDT and his siblings told Fred III he should take a CPR course from the Red Cross and care for William because nursing care for the badly disabled newborn was “expensive babysitting.” Mary and Fred III settled the lawsuit with confidentiality agreements.

Mary said she is no longer bound by secrecy because she learned the estate was worth closer to $1 billion instead of the $30 million claimed by the executors. She only learned about the fraud in October 2018 when the NYT published an investigative report into DDT’s “suspect tax schemes.” New York statute of limitations requires a lawsuit within two years of discovery, making the lawsuit timely.

As Mary Trump’s lawsuit states, fraud for Donald Trump is “a way of life.”

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