Mary Trump — the president’s niece, who recently released a book that was harshly critical of her uncle — has filed a lawsuit accusing the president, his sister Maryanne, and their late brother Robert of financial crimes. According to Mary, these crimes had the net effect of fraudulently denigrating her assets in the family estate that she should have had a part of. According to the suit, Donald and his siblings “exploited” the family real estate business “to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone around them.” That alleged financial exploitation included transferring money out of Mary’s interests to their own under fraudulent pretenses, among other issues.
According to Mary’s lawsuit, the Trump siblings’ schemes deprived Mary of “tens of millions of dollars or more.” Mary is the daughter of Fred Trump, Jr., who seems to have been unpopular in the family, did not participate in the family real estate business to any major extent, and died in the 1980s of alcoholism complications. Mary’s lawsuit says, in part:
‘For Donald J. Trump, his sister Maryanne, and their late brother Robert, fraud was not just the family business — it was a way of life. They concocted scheme after scheme to cheat on their taxes, swindle their business partners, and jack up rents on their low-income tenants.’
Among other alleged behavior, Mary’s team says that the defendants in her lawsuit — meaning the president and his siblings — got their father, Fred Trump Sr., to formally designate them as the executors of his estate. The move, it appears, gave them the excuse to deny rights to Mary Trump as they wished. The siblings targeted Mary through fraudulent transfers of money from her interests to their own that were made under the false pretense of legitimate business transactions, fraudulent appraisals and financial statements that were meant to further tamp down the value of her interests, and pressure to sign “a stack of fraudulent valuations and financial statements,” as her lawsuit explained it.
The allegations include a laundry list of specific crimes, including fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, fraudulent inducement, negligent misrepresentation, two counts of civil conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty, and aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty. Mary says that she learned of the Trump siblings’ breach of their fiduciary duty towards her via a lengthy article about the Trump family finances that The New York Times published in 2018.
This week, Mary said:
‘My father died when I was still a teenager, and my uncles Donald and Robert and aunt Maryanne were supposed to be protecting me as my trustees and fiduciaries. Recently, I learned that rather than protecting me, they instead betrayed me by working together in secret to steal from me, by telling lie after lie about the value of what I had inherited, and by conning me into giving everything away for a fraction of its true value. I am bringing this case to hold them accountable and to recover what is rightfully mine.’
The president has previously mocked Mary as “unstable.” There is, of course, no particular evidence for this insult. The president is the one who seems to struggle to let even the slightest criticism slide.