A bombshell 8-month investigation just uncovered massive fraud by Trump and his children

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An eight-month ProPublica investigation into the Trump Organization has revealed that the Trump family has been lying to literally everyone about their business empire: the public, the government, his investors, and even his customers.

While the family pretends that they have made their fortune off of “licensing” the Trump brand while others handled the details, the Trumps were actually deeply involved in their business dealings — and the stunning amount of fraud and misleading that went into manufacturing a fake empire.

The whole family was in on the scam. Ivanka played an important role as a mouthpiece for the organization, feeding false sales figures to the press and personally boasting about having made sales that never happened — which is very much illegal. Trump himself often told the media that he was involved in projects that he had nothing to do with in order to cultivate the perception of a businessman who had a hand in everything when in reality there was nothing.

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The projects that he was involved in failed quite often, after which Trump and his family would deny any involvement and walk away with the money they’d scammed out of their buyers.

The debacle that was the Panama City Trump Ocean Club provides an excellent microcosm of the sleazy way the Trump clan did business.

ProPublica discovered thatTrump touted himself as a ‘partner’ of the developer. His daughter Ivanka briefly boasted that she had personally sold 40 units. (A broker on the project said he couldn’t remember her selling even one.) Meanwhile, Ivanka told a journalist at the time that ‘over 90 percent’ of the Panama units had sold — and at prices five times as high as comparable buildings. Both statements were untrue.”

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Funding for the project was predicated on the advance purchase of condos by investors, which in this case turned out to be shadowy shell corporations that abandoned their purchase contracts and their deposits halfway through the project, leaving little trail behind.

Trump structured the deal so that succeed or fail, he would somehow walk away with a fortune — which he did, scooping up anywhere between $30 million and $55 million when the project went bankrupt and the Trump Organization team was forcibly removed from the premises.

While it’s no secret that Trump is one of the most disgustingly dishonest crooks to ever drag his fetid gut onto a private jet, this stunning report really hits home how his entire “empire” — and the inhumane real estate industry in general —  is built on a house of lies that justice demands come crashing down.

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Read the astonishing full story here.

Original reporting by Heather Vogell and Peter Elkind, at ProPublica with Andrea Bernstein and Meg Cramer from WYNC.

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Natalie Dickinson

Natalie is a staff writer for the Washington Press. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 and has been freelance blogging and writing for progressive outlets ever since.

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