The Who2 Blog

Trump Family Tax Fraud: How Reporters Cracked the Story

Photo: Sonny Figueroa / The New York Times

Donald Trump has long claimed that he turned “a small loan of a million dollars” from his father into a billion-dollar fortune.

Now a special investigation by The New York Times reveals that Trump received more like $413 million (yes, four hundred and thirteen million dollars) from his father, real estate magnate Fred Trump. What’s more, much of it was passed on to Donald Trump and his siblings through shady practices and hidden transfers that helped the family avoid millions and millions of dollars in taxes.

It’s a remarkable story of casual, cynical tax fraud and avoidance of civic responsibility. (It also shows, once again, that Donald Trump has been lying freely since the 1970s about his own prowess as a businessman and investor.)

Just as remarkable, though, is the story of how the three reporters (David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner) dug up the details over the course of 18 months.

A central finding of the story began to emerge in April 2017, when Ms. Craig had been Google searching an arcane term the group was interested in — “mortgage receivable,” which the Trumps used to describe the mortgages from the children to Fred — paired with the last name “Trump.” She found the disclosure form that the president’s sister Maryanne, a federal judge, had filed related to her Senate confirmation hearing. Unlike the many she filed during her years on the bench, this one was not redacted. In that document, Ms. Craig noticed a $1 million contribution from an obscure family-owned company: All County Building Supply & Maintenance.

Great stuff. Congratulations to them on a powerful piece of journalism.

Read the story: How Times Journalists Uncovered the Original Source of the President’s Wealth »

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