Jeff is a computer professional who takes a great interest in politics and tries to always distinguish fact from opinion.
We heard a great deal about Hillary Clinton's scandals, which were thoroughly investigated and reported on for years.
But there has been little attention in the media paid to the the many scandals involving Donald Trump. Many of these make the Clinton scandals pale in comparison. Trump’s scandals involve actual fraud, criminal activity, discrimination, bribery and even ties to organized crime.
1. Trump made a fortune by bankrupting his casinos and walking away with his investor’s money
Although he likes to brag about the success of his Atlantic City casinos, Trump’s casino business lost money long before the rest of the gambling industry failed there.
When Trump decided to declare bankruptcy for his casinos, it didn’t just enable him to get out of paying his debts to contractors and suppliers, it allowed him to make money while his investors suffered all the losses.
So Trump actually brags about his ability to close down a business, put hundreds of people out of work, default on his debts to contractors and suppliers while letting his investors lose money on the deal.
To Donald Trump maximizing his profits is the only thing that matters. He doesn’t care how many other people lose their jobs, their businesses or their life savings.
2. Trump has a history of refusing to pay contractors who worked for him
From an article in USA Today:
"Donald Trump often portrays himself as a savior of the working class who will 'protect your job.' But a USA TODAY NETWORK analysis found he has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades — and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans who say Trump or his companies have refused to pay them.
Trump has even refused to pay some of the lawyers who represented him in those lawsuits.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Trump’s companies have been cited for 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act since 2005 for failing to pay overtime or the minimum wage."
3. Trump University scammed thousands of people resulting in lawsuits that are still in progress today
Donald Trump’s own employees regarded Trump University as a giant rip-off.
In testimony during a class action suit against Trump, an employee of Trump University said:
“'While Trump University claimed it wanted to help consumers make money in real estate, in fact Trump University was only interested in selling every person the most expensive seminars they possibly could.' The affidavit concludes, 'Based upon my personal experience and employment, I believe that Trump University was a fraudulent scheme, and that it preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money.'”
The Attorney General of New York, who described Trump University as a classic bait-and-switch scheme, repeatedly told Trump’s company that they were breaking the law by calling themselves a University when in fact they were just a business selling Donald Trump’s alleged insights on making money in real estate.
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New York State is suing Trump alleging that Trump University scammed students out of $40 million. Two class action lawsuits have also been filed against Trump in California. When a judge decided to allow the lawsuits to continue, Trump attacked the judge as being biased against him simply because the judge was of Mexican heritage.
4. The Donald J. Trump Foundation made illegal contributions to a politician and then misreported the contribution to cover it up
The Trump Foundation made an illegal political contribution to the Florida Attorney General who was planning to investigate claims that Trump University fraudulently tried to cheat Florida citizens out of their money.
After receiving the $25,000 payment, the Florida Attorney General decided not to investigate Trump University.
In order to cover up the illegal contribution to the Florida Attorney General, the Trump Foundation falsely reported the $25,000 contribution on their taxes. They indicated that it went to a charity in Kansas which, in fact, never received any money from the Trump Foundation.
5. The Trump Institute was a classic get-rich-quick scam using Trump’s name to lure unsuspecting victims
The Trump Institute promised a series of seminars where people could get Donald Trump’s expertise on how to get rich. Unfortunately nobody who took the course ever got to meet Mr. Trump and the entire seminar was plagiarized from another get-rich-quick scheme from a decade earlier.
In creating the Trump Institute, Donald Trump worked with a pair of business partners, Irene and Mike Milin, who had a history of fraud and deceptive business practices for decades.
Donald Trump was sued by the New York Attorney General over claims he operated a fraudulent online educational institute that swindled students out of $40 million.
6. Trump’s modeling agency had foreign models lie to customs officials to work in the U.S. illegally
Trump’s New York modeling agency, Trump Model Management, has profited from using foreign models who came to the United States on tourist visas that did not permit them to work here, according to three former Trump models, all noncitizens, who shared their stories with Mother Jones. Financial and immigration records included in a recent lawsuit filed by a fourth former Trump model show that she, too, worked for Trump's agency in the United States without a proper visa.
Some models felt like they were treated like slaves by Trump’s modeling agency. The agency took 80% of the models’ earnings as expenses and fees. Immigration experts say this is a typical way to take advantage of foreign workers who come to America.
7. Trump illegally employed large numbers of foreign workers at his resorts
As recently as July of 2016, Trump planned to hire 78 servers, housekeepers, and cooks at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach and the nearby Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter Florida.
Instead of making sure those jobs go to Americans, he sought to import foreign workers for the positions, which pay $10.17 an hour for housekeepers, $11.13 an hour for servers, and $12.74 for cooks. He filed applications claiming he couldn’t find enough Americans to do that work, and sought temporary visas to bring in 65 workers at Mar-a-Lago along with another seven waiters and six cooks at the golf club.
Trump has a long history of hiring foreign workers for little money and not paying them all the money he owes them.
Some of the foreign workers have given up hope of ever receiving the pay that Trump owes them. However, there is a class action lawsuit against Trump that has been languishing in court for 15 years charging that he owes $4 million to the union welfare funds for the work that many of the foreign workers performed.
8. Trump has a long history of hiring construction firms in New York with ties to organized crime
When Donald Trump built Trump Tower and Trump Plaza in Manhattan, he hired companies with that were owned or controlled by members of organized crime. This includes buying overpriced concrete from a company controlled by Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno and Paul Castellano, two known mafia bosses.
A federal investigation revealed that construction of the Trump Plaza apartment building benefitted from connections to racketeering. At the time, Trump himself was under investigation by a grand jury directed by the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn who wanted to know how Trump managed to obtain an option to buy the Penn Central railroad yards in Manhattan.
9. Trump violated anti-trust laws during a takeover attempt of a rival casino
The Federal Trade Commission said Trump violated the law by using illegal methods to try to take over a competitor’s casino business. Ultimately, Trump had to pay a $750,000 penalty for violating anti-trust laws.
10. Trump has a history of housing discrimination
In 1973, Trump Management was investigated by the Justice Department for violating the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against black people.
Both Fred Trump, the company’s chairman, and Donald Trump, its president, were named as defendants.
In 1978, a Justice Department lawyer wrote to Trump’s lawyer that “We believe that an underlying pattern of discrimination continues to exist in the Trump Management organization."
An investigation by the New York Times involving files from the New York Commission on Human Rights, Justice Department records, court documents and interviews with tenants, civil rights activists and prosecutors reveals a long history of racial bias by Trump’s businesses.
What Does All of This Tell Us About Donald Trump?
These scandals occurred long before Trump was ever a serious candidate for president. Most of them span a period of many years over his adult life. Generally speaking, these are not things you could write off as isolated instances or momentary lapses in judgement.
One could conclude that all of this demonstrates a long pattern of behavior by Donald Trump where he uses his vast wealth and power in a predatory manner to further enrich himself by exploiting other people.
This goes far beyond simple capitalism. He is motivated only by his own greed and not by any altruistic desire to help others. The multitude of lawsuits against Trump, despite the fact that he has stalled some of them for decades, demonstrate the magnitude of his greed as well as his ability to use his wealth and power to discourage further lawsuits.
The huge numbers of people, including his own lawyers, who say he has not paid them the money he owes them is an indicator of the kind of man Donald Trump truly is.
Don't Take My Word for Any of This
Everything in this article is based on actual investigations, often by regulatory agencies of the US government or the State of New York.
You can Google each one of these scandals yourself and find out more or you can click on the links I provided to read more about them.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.