President Trump's infamous $1 million loan may have sparked his real estate business, but the $413 million he reportedly received from his father's own empire probably helped too.
Far from the measly operation Trump has claimed, Fred Trump's real estate business reportedly shunned taxes and engaged in fraud as he funneled millions into his children's pockets, a massive investigation by The New York Times reveals. The president himself has reportedly reaped enormous benefits — far more than his siblings, in fact, because he helped his parents "sharply reduc[e] the tax bill when properties were transferred to him and his siblings," the Times says.
For nearly all his life, Trump has been accruing payments from his father's business in a trust fund that's still growing to this day, the Times' analysis of tax returns and financial records indicates. To minimize taxes as Fred Trump passed that money to his children, he reportedly made them stakeholders in a shell company, All County Building Supply & Maintenance. Fred and his wife Mary "transferred well over $1 billion in wealth to their children, which could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million," the Times says. But records show they apparently only ended up paying about $52.2 million.
To reap bigger profits, Fred Trump also allegedly undervalued his real estate holdings via "dubious tax schemes" often orchestrated by Trump himself, the Times says. And in one case, Fred Trump reportedly used All County invoices to make it seem as if he'd made improvements on a rent-stabilized apartment complex he owned. Payments for maintenance work from All County were actually going to his children, but the state would still approve rent increases.
A lawyer for Trump denied all the Times' findings as "100 percent false and highly defamatory." Still, they do raise questions about Trump's never-released tax returns.
Read it all — and watch an astounding video illustrating Trump's gain — at The New York Times.