USA Today dropped another bombshell today.
USA previously reported that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been named or involved in over 3,500 lawsuits, but now they've taken a closer look at some of those lawsuits.
Over several decades and as recently as last month, many of those lawsuits involved claims of unpaid labor and bills. And the lawsuits aren't even the whole story.
In addition to the lawsuits, the review found more than 200 mechanic’s liens – filed by contractors and employees against Trump, his companies or his properties claiming they were owed money for their work – since the 1980s. The liens range from a $75,000 claim by a Plainview, N.Y., air conditioning and heating company to a $1 million claim from the president of a New York City real estate banking firm. On just one project, Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, records released by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission in 1990 show that at least 253 subcontractors weren’t paid in full or on time, including workers who installed walls, chandeliers and plumbing.
USA Today made it clear that these incidents are ongoing.
Just last month, Trump Miami Resort Management LLC settled with 48 servers at his Miami golf resort over failing to pay overtime for a special event. The settlements averaged about $800 for each worker and as high as $3,000 for one, according to court records. Some workers put in 20-hour days over the 10-day Passover event at Trump National Doral Miami, the lawsuit contends. Trump’s team initially argued a contractor hired the workers, and he wasn’t responsible, and counter-sued the contractor demanding payment.
As you probably recall, Trump vowed to Make Golf Great Again after blasting the PGA tournament last week for pulling out of his Miami resort. At the time I quipped that it was all about money for him, but I may have been more right than I presumed.
That's just one story among many others illustrated in this USA Today probe. Trump's own lawyers have sued him several times, including one law firm that fought against workers who sued Trump for unpaid wages. The firm represented Trump and then he stiffed them.
One law firm that fought contractors over payments and other issues for Trump — New York City’s Morrison Cohen LLP — ended up on the other side of a similar battle with the mogul in 2008. Trump didn’t like that its lawyers were using his name in press releases touting its representation of Trump in a lawsuit against a construction contractor that Trump claimed overcharged him for work on a luxury golf club.
This is only the beginning. The pile of opposition research on Trump could be bottomless. Mitt Romney could end up looking like a paragon of business ethics compared to Trump.
The report from USA Today is very long but worth the read for future reference.