New York tax regulators are looking into allegations against the Trump family that suggest a tax fraud scheme involving Donald Trump’s parents in the 1990s and early 2000s.
A bombshell report Tuesday pulled back the curtain on President Donald Trump’s mythos as a self-made billionaire, discovering a dubious trail of complex tax evasion by which Fred Trump funneled at least $413 million in today’s dollars to his son, “including instances of outright fraud,” the New York Times found.
And that “small loan of a million dollars” that Trump claims his dad gave him to launch his business empire? It was closer to $61 million, the Times found, or at least $140 million in today’s dollars. That’s one of several jaw-dropping findings in the report, and now the New York Department of Taxation is “vigorously pursuing” a review of the Trumps’ activities.
Trump sought to downplay the report’s findings through multiple channels, calling it a “very old, boring and often told” story on Twitter. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders described it as a matter settled “many decades ago.” Trump’s lawyer, Charles Harder, denied any fraud or evasion.
Here are a few of the biggest revelations the Times’ David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner found after reviewing 100,000-plus pages of records:
A millionaire by age 8: Trump’s money from dad came early and often
The funneling of money from Fred Trump to Donald Trump started early, the report found, with the younger Trump earning $200,000 a year in today’s dollars from his father’s business dealings by age 3 and becoming a millionaire by age 8. That was only the beginning: Fred Trump spent over 50 years funneling money to his son via 295 separate channels, the Times found, transferring today’s equivalent of $413 million to the current president.
Trump tried to change his father’s will, dodged half a billion in taxes
With his father aged and ailing, Trump tried to become sole executor of his estate in 1990. His father refused to sign a document from Trump to alter his will, pushing the family to employ tax strategies that experts described to the Times as “legally dubious” and apparently “fraudulent,” though the “maneuvers met with little resistance from the Internal Revenue Service,” reporters found. As a result, the Trump parents’ transfer of over $1 billion in wealth to their children came to $52.2 million in taxes — a fraction of the $550 million they would have paid under the tax rate on gifts and inherences.
The Trumps’ fraudulent company to funnel cash: ‘All County Building Supply’
The Trumps’ “most overt fraud” found by the Times came in the form of a company that existed “only on paper,” acting as a vehicle to move millions from Fred Trump’s empire. Called “All County Building Supply & Maintenance,” the company supposedly bought supplies for Fred Trump’s buildings. Instead, the Times found, the company siphoned millions via claims on already purchased items, which then went to All County’s owners: Donald Trump and others in his family.
Read all the twists and turns in the Times’ full report, one of its longest investigations yet.
Follow Josh Hafner on Twitter: @joshhafner
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