President Donald Trump’s vast accumulation of wealth was made possible through numerous efforts by his father to steer resources into his son’s hands by vastly undervaluing real estate values, obscuring gifts, and avoiding taxes, according to a bombshell investigation.
A trove of documents including Fred Trump’s tax returns show countless efforts to enrich Donald Trump and set him up to be the successful businessman and public figure and politician that he became.
Many of the transfers were made in secret, often in advantageous ways that saved Trump and his siblings hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a deeply reported New York Times analysis.
In eye-popping detail it lays bare what it says were years of tax avoidance which it calls ‘dubious tax schemes… including instances of outright fraud’.
Within minutes of its publication New York State tax authorities said they would investigate.
The trove of documents includes secret tax and bank documents, meaning their leak will set off an intense investigation inside the Trump world for who committed such a daring breach of security, and potentially betrayal – and will be fodder to Democrats demanding Trump release his tax returns.
They paint a picture of vast wealth matched by equally questionable accounting, all for the benefit of Fred Trump and his family.
In just once example, sourced to the 1995 tax return of Fred Trump, a successful developer of large-scale housing construction projects, Donald Trump and his sibling claimed 25 apartment complexes with 6,988 apartments were worth only $41 million. Less than a decade later, in 2004, banks valued them at $900 million.
Trump was able to bank a total of $413 million from father’s empire partly through tax ‘dodges,’ according to the bombshell analysis.
At the tender age of three, Trump was earning $200,000 a year in 2018 dollars from his dad’s business empire, becoming a millionaire by age 8, according to the report.
By the time he graduated college – Wharton as Trump likes to point out – Trump was getting $1 million a year in today’s dollars – an amount that would jump to $5 million a year by the time he hit his 40s.