The Trump Family Engaged in “Outright Fraud” to Shelter Wealth From Taxes For Decades

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

We still haven't seen Trump's tax returns and now it's blindingly obvious why he'll never share them unless he's somehow forced to.

New York Times obtained a trove of documents from the Trump family business including tax returns dating back decades and found that virtually all of Trump's personal wealth was gained through fraud.

Now, that is not exactly how they put it, but it's close. Furthermore, they have the receipts.

According to the records they reviewed, Trump personally received over $400 million from his father and the Trump siblings together received over $1 billion while only paying taxes on about 5 percent of it. The overwhelming majority of the money was sheltered through fraudulent schemes or "outright fraud" as the New York Times put it.

Much of this money came to Mr. Trump because he helped his parents dodge taxes. He and his siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents, records and interviews show. Records indicate that Mr. Trump helped his father take improper tax deductions worth millions more. He also helped formulate a strategy to undervalue his parents’ real estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars on tax returns, sharply reducing the tax bill when those properties were transferred to him and his siblings.

These maneuvers met with little resistance from the Internal Revenue Service, The Times found. The president’s parents, Fred and Mary Trump, transferred well over $1 billion in wealth to their children, which could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million under the 55 percent tax rate then imposed on gifts and inheritances.

The Trumps paid a total of $52.2 million, or about 5 percent, tax records show.

More specifically, what kind of schemes are we talking about?

The most overt fraud was All County Building Supply & Maintenance, a company formed by the Trump family in 1992. All County’s ostensible purpose was to be the purchasing agent for Fred Trump’s buildings, buying everything from boilers to cleaning supplies. It did no such thing, records and interviews show. Instead All County siphoned millions of dollars from Fred Trump’s empire by simply marking up purchases already made by his employees. Those millions, effectively untaxed gifts, then flowed to All County’s owners — Donald Trump, his siblings and a cousin. Fred Trump then used the padded All County receipts to justify bigger rent increases for thousands of tenants.

All told, The Times documented 295 streams of revenue that Fred Trump created over five decades to enrich his son. In most cases his four other children benefited equally. But over time, as Donald Trump careened from one financial disaster to the next, his father found ways to give him substantially more money, records show. Even so, in 1990, according to previously secret depositions, Mr. Trump tried to have his father’s will rewritten in a way that Fred Trump, alarmed and angered, feared could result in his empire’s being used to bail out his son’s failing businesses.

Indeed, Trump's failing business was bailed out by the family empire.

And 20 years later, it was bailed out by the Russians.

There's absolutely no reason to think Trump, Ivanka, Eric, and Don Jr are not engaging in these same schemes today. I can scarcely imagine the myriad of ways they could all be financially compromised.

Now forgive all the long quotes, but I'm just going to leave this here. This is self-made Man of the People, Donald Trump.

By age 3, Mr. Trump was earning $200,000 a year in today’s dollars from his father’s empire. He was a millionaire by age 8. By the time he was 17, his father had given him part ownership of a 52-unit apartment building. Soon after Mr. Trump graduated from college, he was receiving the equivalent of $1 million a year from his father. The money increased with the years, to more than $5 million annually in his 40s and 50s.