One Decade Of Business Dealings
A useful snapshot is Trump’s record during the 10 years before he won the presidency. From 2006â2016, The New York Times went through every business deal that the Trump Organization announced or that was reported.
The 60 deals reflected a highly uneven track record of business success: “One-third of them never got off the ground or soon petered out. Another third delivered a measure of what was promisedâbuildings were built, courses taught, a product introducedâbut they also encountered substantial problems, like lawsuits, government investigations, partnership woes, or market downturns…The remaining third, while sometimes encountering strife, generally met expectations,” according to The New York Times.
Any deeper examination of the former president’s business record would be incomplete without looking at his series of high-profile bankruptcies and other failures. Below is a list of some of the highlights, although it is by no means comprehensive.
Trump Contractors: It Was The Beginning Of The End For Us
Trump takes umbrage at the idea that he went bankrupt, always pointing out that he never filed personally and that he used the bankruptcy laws to get richer.
Connolly said taking his casinos into Chapter 11 was reasonable and responsible and the right decision for Trump and his bondholders.
It looked like a fair deal and actually kept them going, Connolly said.
But Mike DAntonio, author of the book Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success, said the bankruptcies shouldnt come with bragging rights.
Donald likes to say his bankruptcy filings were just a tool hes been using for his businesses, DAntonio said. Hes had a string of failures. And youre not just talking about big investors. Youre also taking about bond holders, not big bankspeople who invested their retirements.
So, you can call it a legal tool that hes using, but lots of people have been hurt along the way. Its been a badge of shame for him.
Tom Winter is a New York-based correspondent covering crime, courts, terrorism and financial fraud on the East Coast for the NBC News Investigative Unit.
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Trump Entertainment Resorts 2009
His most recent bankruptcy came in 2009, after the company missed a $53.1 million bond payment. That was pretty much the end of the road for Trump in Atlantic City. While his name remained on three casinos, he resigned from the board and gave up his remaining stake in the company.
I had the good sense, and Ive gotten a lot of credit in the financial pages, seven years ago I left Atlantic City before it totally cratered, he said during the debate.
The two Atlantic City casinos that still had the Trump name filed for bankruptcy yet again in 2014. At the time Trump made sure people knew he was no longer running the company, and sued to have his name removed.
The Real Sources Of Wealth
The former president’s businesses generally fall into five categories: hotels, golf courses , condos, residential and commercial real-estate rentals, and payments for the licensing of Trump’s name.
The New York Times articles unleashed a major new source of information, besides confirming that Donald Trump’s disclosed income numbers were actually revenue figures.
The numbers also show that companies owned by Trump were incredibly unprofitable for the period between 2000 and 2018. His real sources of income were a television show and some licensing deals.
Although certain enterprises such as Trump Tower have been profitable, Trump businesses overall lost $174.5 million from 2000â2018. During the same period of time, his net income from licensing and endorsement deals was $230 million, his net income from The Apprentice television show was $197.3 million, and his income from other investments in companies run by other people was $178.7 million.
Trumps Rebound Story Meets Mounting Bankruptcies
It wont exactly be an October surprise, but it could still be a shock: a wave of business failures hitting during the campaign season.
Local business site Yelp found that 55 percent of the firms that closed during the worst of the pandemic beginning in March are now permanently shuttered. | Eric Gay/AP Photo
09/03/2020 04:30 AM EDT
While President Donald Trump prepares to promote an economic rebound, a wave of business failures is set to tell another story.
Economic-relief money drying up in August and September will mark a final blow for some firms that had managed to hang on so far with government aid which now appears unlikely to be renewed for weeks, if ever. Cold weather and flu season could end outdoor dining, halt other indoor activities and contribute to Covid-19 outbreaks at workplaces. And economists expect weak demand and tight credit especially for smaller businesses to add to the tens of thousands of firms that have already collapsed amid the Covid-19 pandemic, while restraining entrepreneurs hoping to replace them.
All of it could complicate Trumps narrative of a robust American comeback. The president has been plotting a hopeful message since the depths of the pandemic this spring, but its increasingly at odds with the mounting toll of corporate bankruptcies and deepening wounds for small businesses still bleeding from the spring shutdowns.
POLITICO Dispatch: September 3
By BEN WHITE
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Payments Related To Alleged Affairs
Adult film actress Stormy Daniels has alleged that she and Trump had an extramarital affair in 2006, months after the birth of his youngest child. Just before the 2016 presidential election Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was paid $130,000 by Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen as part of a non-disclosure agreement , through an LLC set up by Cohen he says he used his own money for the payment. In February 2018, Daniels filed suit against the LLC asking to be released from the agreement so that she can tell her story. Cohen filed a private arbitration proceeding and obtained a restraining order to keep her from discussing the case. According to White House press secretarySarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump has denied the allegations.
In response, Trump said that he only knew about the payments “later on” Trump also said regarding the payments: “They didn’t come out of the campaign, they came from me.”
The Wall Street Journal reported on November 9, 2018, that federal prosecutors have evidence of Trump’s “central role” in payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal that violated campaign-finance laws.
Trump Has Several Business Bankruptcies On His Record
Trump-controlled businesses have sought bankruptcy protection several times after those entities nearly all of them casino properties were several hundreds of millions of dollars or more in debt :
#1) Trump Taj Mahal : The Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City opened in 1990, with Trump financing the completion of its construction with $675 million in junk bonds at 14% interest. By the following year the casino itself was in debt to the tune of $3 billion, while Trump himself owed some $900 million in personal liabilities.
In order to keep the Taj Mahal afloat, Trump struck a deal with his lenders in which he gave up half his ownership share and equity in the casino, sold his Trump Shuttle airline and his Trump Princess 220-foot yacht, and agreed to a bank-set limit on his personal spending in exchange for a lower interest rate and additional time to make his loan payments.
#2 and #3) Trumps Castle and Trump Plaza Casinos : Less than a year after the Taj Mahal bankruptcy Trump filed for Chapter 11 protection again for two more Atlantic City hotel-casinos, the Trump Plaza and Trumps Castle, over their inability to make principal and interest payments on bonds. The Plaza and the Castle were competing against each other, as well as against the Taj Mahal, and Trump gave up a 50% share in exchange for more favorable terms on the debts.
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Construction And Property Law Matters
In 2011, Donald Trump sued Scotland, alleging that it built the Aberdeen Bay Wind Farm after assuring him it would not be built. He had recently built a golf course there and planned to build an adjacent hotel. Trump lost his suit, with the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom unanimously ruling in favor of the Scottish government in 2015.
In 2013, 87-year-old Jacqueline Goldberg unsuccessfully sued Trump on allegations that he cheated her in a condominium sale by bait-and-switch when she was purchasing properties at the Trump International Hotel and Tower.
In 2015, Trump initiated a $100 million lawsuit against Palm Beach County claiming that officials, in a deliberate and malicious act, pressured the to direct air traffic to the Palm Beach International Airport over his estate, because he said the airplanes damaged the building and disrupted its ambiance. Trump had previously sued the county twice over airport noise the first lawsuit, in 1995, ended with an agreement between Trump and the county Trumps second lawsuit, in 2010, was dismissed.
Bankruptcy In The United States
Like the economy, bankruptcy filings in the U.S. rise and fall. In fact, they are like dance partners where one goes, the other usually follows.
Bankruptcy peaked with just more than two million filings in 2005. That is the same year the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act was passed. That law was meant to stem the tide of consumers and businesses too eager to simply walk away from their debts.
The number of filings dropped 70% in 2006, but then the Great Recession brought the economy to its knees and bankruptcy filings spiked to 1.6 million in 2010. They retreated again as the economy improved, but the COVID-19 pandemic easily could reverse the trend in 2021. It seems inevitable that many individuals and small businesses will declare bankruptcy.
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Trumps Record Includes Some Unsavory Episodes
While Trump was never accused of doing anything illegal, he worked extensively with companies controlled by the mafia on properties in New York and Atlantic City, including Trump Tower and Trump Plaza.
Some would say that was the only way to develop property in New York in the 1970s and 1980s the mob controlled many parts of the citys construction industry, including concrete, labor unions and trash disposal. Still, the extent of Trump’s involvement is certainly unique. No serious presidential candidate has ever had Trumps depth of documented business relationships with mob-controlled entities, The Posts Robert OHarrow Jr. wrote.
Trump has said that he did not know these companies’ mafia connections, adding that they were “unbelievably good contractors in terms of doing the work.”
As Republican opponents have pointed out, Trumps businesses may have hired undocumented and guest workers allegations that now prove awkward for a presidential candidate running on an anti-immigration platform.
Construction workers at Trumps new D.C. hotel told The Washington Post that some workers were undocumented, while the New York Times reported that Trumps Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach rejected hundreds of applications from Americans only to bring in hundreds of Romanian guest workers.
Trump Castle Associates 1992
In less than a year he was back in bankruptcy court for his other Atlantic City casinos. This bankruptcy included the Trump Plaza Hotel in New York, the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City as well as the Trump Castle Casino Resort. He gave up half his interest in the New York Plaza to Citibank, but retained his stake in the casinos.
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The New Jersey Generals
Service rendered: Football
Years in business: 2
What went wrong: Since Trump couldnât buy an NFL team of his own, he settled on the next best thingâthe short-lived United States Football League established to challenge the NFL. Realizing he had a million other projects on his plate, though, Trump quickly sold the team only to buy them back again in the very same year.
Things only got worse from there, according to Business Insider, âThe team folded one year later, in 1985, along with the entire USFL. People blamed Trump for the demise of not only the team, but the entire league. Allegedly, he was trying to pull the Generals into the NFL â and made poor investment decisions in the process.â
Talking about the ordeal now, Trump notes that he âdid something I rarely do with the USFL. I went into something that was not good.â As rare as every single endeavor on this list.
Fact Checking: Donald Trump Has Filed Bankruptcy Six Times
The Differences Between Bankruptcies: Chapters 7, 11, and 13
Recently, I met a prospective client with over $30,000.00 in medical debt. She lives with her one minor child and her annual household income around $40,000.00. She can pay her basic bills, but the massive medical debt is a different story. The collection phone calls are picking up and her stress level is beginning to affect her health. This same woman filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief 6 years ago following a job loss, meaning that she would not be eligible for another Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing for 2 more years. She looks at me and says If our President can file bankruptcy whenever he gets into a pinch, why do I have to suffer for 2 more years? She recalled a news story saying that President Trump had filed bankruptcy at least four times prior to becoming our U.S. President.
Fact Checking: Has Donald Trump filed for bankruptcy relief 4 or 6 times?
Lets do some fact checking about how many times Donald Trump has filed for bankruptcy protection and why there is some debate over this number. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton correctly pointed out that Donald Trump had filed bankruptcy 6 times. Here is a quick breakdown of the six Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings by companies owned by Donald Trump. All six of Donald Trumps bankruptcy filings were prior to him becoming our current U.S. President.
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They Will See How Great It Will Become 2009
When Donald Trump has been pressed on his casinos performance during his presidential campaign, he has repeatedly said he left Atlantic City at the right time.
Atlantic City is a disaster, and I did great in Atlantic City, he said during a Republican Party debate last September, according to a transcript. I knew when to get out. My timing was great. And I got a lot of credit for it.
That would suggest Mr. Trump willingly left sometime around 2006, the year that revenues peaked in Atlantic City and that Pennsylvania allowed its first casino to open, a development that marked the start of a rapid downward spiral in the city. The drop-off was exacerbated by the recession that began in 2008.
But in early 2009, as Trump casinos lurched toward bankruptcy for the fourth time, Mr. Trump was still trying to hang on. At loggerheads with board members who had been selected by bondholders after the 2004 bankruptcy, he offered to buy all or a part of the casino company bearing his name. He was rebuffed, and he quit the board soon after.
Testifying in bankruptcy court in Camden, N.J., Mr. Trump argued that the company could not use his name, since shortly before filing the bankruptcy it had stopped paying him the $166,000 a month he received under the services agreement. He testified that his brand was worth $3 billion. He also testified that he was personally negotiating the settlement of a lawsuit in Florida that would yield more than $100 million for the company.
Trump Ruffin Tower Llc
- 2019 Revenue: $27,677,448, divided between $4,414,500 in condo sales and $23,262,948 in hotel revenue
- 2018 Revenue: $28,558,298, divided between $6,002,244 in condo sales and $22,556,054 in hotel revenue
- 2019 Asset Value: Over $50,000,000
- Business Type: Hotel and Condominium Complex
Trump Ruffin Tower LLC manages the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Las Vegas. Constructed in 2008, the tower is a combination hotel and condominium development.
It struggled as the Great Recession hit when it opened more than a decade ago, devastating the real estate market. Plans for a second tower were scrapped.
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Controversy Over Tax Returns
In October 2016, The New York Times published some tax documents from 1995. Trump claimed on his tax returns that he lost money, but did not recognize it in the form of canceled debts. Trump might have performed a stock-for-debt swap. This would have allowed Trump to avoid paying income taxes for at least 18 years. An audit of Trump’s tax returns for 2002 through 2008 was “closed administratively by agreement with the I.R.S. without assessment or payment, on a net basis, of any deficiency.” Tax attorneys believe the government may have reduced what Trump was able to claim as a loss without requiring him to pay any additional taxes. It is unknown whether the I.R.S. challenged Trump’s use of the swaps because he has not released his tax returns. Trump’s lawyers advised against Trump using the equity for debt swap, as they believed it to be potentially illegal.
After a protracted legal battle against subpoenas to release his tax returns, including two appeals to the United States Supreme Court, in February 2021 the high court permitted the records to be released to prosecutors and a grand jury.
We Know Every Chapter
At Van Horn Law Group we have a decade of experience in bankruptcies of all types. Whether you are filing for Chapter 13, Chapter 11, or Chapter 7, we are here to help you. We can even help you with Chapter 12 or Chapter 15, or advise you in the event of a Chapter 9 bankruptcy. We can advise you under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and the Securities Investor Protection Act. Our offices in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach are open Monday through Saturday, and we welcome walk-ins. We will even open up on Sunday if you want to make an appointment. Let our experienced attorneys and staff guide you through your bankruptcy and into the next stage of your life free of debt.
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