As Donald Trump never hesitates to remind the country, he is a very successful businessman (okay, his level of success is up for debate, but he does have a lot of money), and as they say, behind every great fortune there is a crime. Trump, instead of committing great crimes, straddles the fence between legal and illegal (billionaires make the laws these days, so it’s tough for a billionaire to break the law). Many of his activities, though, were downright unethical and even immoral.
Few people have ever accused Donald Trump of being a softy, but the heights he has gone to boost his success would shock even other billionaires. In the 90s, for example, he tried to force an elderly widow from her home by paying her well below market value, so he could build a parking lot for his now failed Trump Plaza Hotel in Atlantic City.
Vera Coking and her husband bought their home in Atlantic City for just $20,000 in 1961. Trump allegedly offered something between $1.9 million and $4 million for the property, but Coking says “he never made her a real offer, he just tried to steal it.”
When she refused, Trump took the fight to the city, who condemned her home under eminent domain. They valued it at $251,250, which she had 30 days to accept or she would lose it all.
Thanks to assistance from the Institute of Justice, Coking prevailed in her fight against the city and Trump, who she called “a maggot, a cockroach, and a crumb,” in 1998. A judge ruled that because there were “no limits” on what Trump could do with the property he intended to steal, this would not have been a proper application of the law.
Source: Winning Democrats
Ted Cruz, of course, put Coking’s story in a political attack ad. In the ad, Trump is heard saying “I think eminent domain is wonderful.”
“It made him rich — like when Trump colluded with Atlantic City insiders to bulldoze the home of an elderly widow for a limousine parking lot at his casino,” the ad says.
Here is the ad:
Here’s even more information about it:
In the end, Coker prevailed in the courts and that ended up being a good thing for Trump, who closed his casino in 2014 out of lack of business.