Trump Family Tied To Illegal Scam Company – Guess Who Runs It

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Donald Trump may have broken a decades-long tradition of presidential candidates releasing their tax returns in the interest of transparency to the American people, but from some documents, he cannot hide.

In a breaking news story, it’s been uncovered that Trump and his siblings padded their inheritance and avoided taxes by inflating rental rates, creating sham companies, and financially harming their renters in a way that still affects those people today.

The New York Times reports that:

‘They were collateral damage as Donald J. Trump and his siblings dodged inheritance taxes and gained control of their father’s fortune: thousands of renters in an empire of unassuming red-brick buildings scattered across Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.

‘Those buildings have been home to generations of strivers, municipal workers and newly arrived immigrants. When their regulated rents started rising more quickly in the 1990s, many tenants had no idea why. Some heard that the Trump family had spent millions on building improvements, but they remained suspicious.’

The same man who insisted that he built his business on a “small” loan of one million dollars from his father, as it turns out, turned his and his siblings’ inheritance into a fortune by creating phony upgrade costs in order to pocket the money they received.

‘As it turned out, a hidden scam lurked behind the mysterious increases. In October, a New York Times investigation into the origins of Mr. Trump’s wealth revealed, among its findings, that the future president and his siblings set up a phony business to pad the cost of nearly everything their father, the legendary builder Fred C. Trump, purchased for his buildings. The Trump children split that extra money.’

The Times story has some pretty significant back up to support their story. Trump’s brother admitted to this practice during testimony for a lawsuit.

‘Padding the invoices had a secondary benefit for the Trumps, allowing them to inflate rent increases on their father’s rent-regulated apartments.

‘“The higher the markup would be, the higher the rent that might be charged,” Robert Trump, the president’s brother, once admitted in a sworn deposition obtained by The Times.’

Many of the renters are now trying to get the illegally-collected funds they paid in overages for their rent returned to them, and people who live in the buildings today are still affected.

‘The padded invoices have been baked into the base rent used to calculate the annual percentage increase approved by the city. The sum total of the rent overcharges cannot be calculated from available records. As a way to appreciate the scope of the impact, a onetime $10 increase in 1995 on all the 8,000 apartments involved would put the total overpaid by tenants at more than $33 million to date, an analysis of approved rent increases shows.’

Featured image via Flickr by Gage Skidmore under a Creative Commons license