Trump Family’s Deceptive Trade Practices

A CNN Special Report by Erin Burnett exposed some stunning deceptive practices employed by the Trump family in their real estate dealings. Some of the deceptive statements the Trumps used to lure in real estate investors are borderline criminal fraud. According to the CNN Special Report, the Trump family essentially embarked on real estate projects worldwide and then made false media pronouncements that their properties were sold out in an effort to lure in investors. Non-suspecting investors then pumped money into what they believed were very profitable Trump properties only to be hit by bankruptcy notices resulting in severe losses. The full CNN Special Report titled “The Trump Family Business” is available here but the relevant clip is below

In 2009 Ivanka Trump for example told CBS regarding the Trump Tower Toronto project, “We have projects all over the world that are incredibly successful and that are virtually sold out…from Hawaii to Toronto to Istanbul.” However according to Erin Burnett, bankruptcy papers filed for the Toronto project years later totally contradicted Ivanka’s statement to CBS. Turns out a whopping 75% of the “sold out” Toronto building remained unoccupied.

Similar shocking deceptive practices were also employed at Trump’s SOHO project where Ivanka told reporters in 2008 that 60% of the units had been sold. It later turned out upon further inspection that contrary to Ivanka’s assertion, only 15% of the units had been sold. Even more troubling about the SOHO project is the fact that there were email exchanges between Ivanka and Trump’s eldest son Don Jr showing that the two were willfully lying to investors about the occupancy rates at Trump SOHO. This apparently led to a lawsuit which the Trump family settled with the terms remaining secret.

Bottom line as Erin Burnett’s Special Report points out, a lot of these real estate investors who were lured into investing based on gross misrepresentations by the Trumps, ended up losing large sums of money. These were not just harmless sales gimmicks employed by the Trumps. Even though it is unlikely that any criminal prosecution could be initiated against Trump’s adult children(statute of limitations), the only decent cause of action for them given their current status in society(Presidential children) would be to make a public apology to the investors who got crushed by their deceptive trade practices.

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You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com

In 2015 Kushner Got A $4,000 Tax Refund After Earning 1.7 Million

Yours Truly did a post yesterday based on the bombshell New York Times revelation that President Trump’s son in law Jared Kushner who is worth an estimated $324 million, has not paid federal income taxes for 7 years thanks to a tax loophole that favors real estate developers. The Kushner post understandably generated a lot of public reaction because it is one of the best illustrations of the glaring inequities that exist with the U.S. tax law. It makes absolutely no sense that someone worth $324 million would pay zero federal income tax for 7 years straight.

In the post Yours Truly called out the mainstream media for breaking very important stories like this but never doing any follow ups to help the public further understand the issue, or force a serious debate on the issue. Luckily one Katy Tur of MSNBC decided to dig a little deeper into the Kushner tax story and boy did she unearth a new bombshell.

Turns out that in 2015, in addition to not paying any federal income tax, Kushner got a $4,000 tax refund from the IRS after earning a whopping 1.7 million. Think about that folks–most working families that earn more than $40,000 a year, have federal income taxes taken out of their checks all year and often end up owing the IRS because they “make too much” yet Kushner who earned 1.7 million in 2015, never paid any federal income tax that year, still got a $4,000 refund from the IRS. Folks this is the height of inequity.

As anybody who has lived paycheck to paycheck(a lot of Americans) knows, most working families literally wait on that four, five or six thousand dollars income tax refund at the beginning of the year to help them catch up with their bills–late rent, car payment, credit cards etc. It is a big deal to most working families. It is also important to note that someone earning more than $40,000 a year often ends up owing the IRS because they “earn too much.” Can you imagine making an argument to such a person making $40,000 a year that they are not entitled to a federal tax refund because they “make too much” but rich Kushner over there, who earned $1.7 million gets a $4,000 refund? Better question–can you imagine how effective such a message would be on the campaign trail for any Dem candidate nationwide?


Bottom line this Kushner tax story is a big deal and Dems should talk more often about it especially as we head towards midterms 2018. These are the kinds of stories that Dems can use to illustrate a clear contrast between their agenda that is geared towards helping working families and that of the GOP which is geared towards helping the rich. Simply put the glaring inequities exposed by this Kushner tax story are enough to swing a huge chunk of independent voters to the Dems. As Katy Tur’s guest Jesse Drucker of the New York Times excellently put it, “There is an intense public interest in understanding the equity of our tax system and the public can decide whether they think think this is an equitable state of affairs.” You will be hard pressed to find a single independent voter who concludes that this is an equitable tax system after looking at the Kushner story.

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Kushner Hasn’t Paid Federal Income Taxes In 7 Years

Jared Kushner & Ivanka Trump

A bombshell New York Times piece reveals that thanks to a tax loophole, Trump’s son in law Jared Kushner who is worth an estimated $324 million, has not paid any federal income taxes from 2009 to 2016–seven years. While this is shocking to most Americans who feel saddled with federal income taxes on their incomes that are significantly lower than Kushner’s, the sad reality is that Kushner may not have broken any tax laws. He is just doing what most wealthy Americans do–taking advantage of loopholes in the nation’s tax laws to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

The biggest takeaway from this bombshell New York Times piece is therefore not the fact that rich Kushner has not paid federal income taxes in 7 years but that these shocking tax loopholes that favor the uber wealthy even exist in the first place. In other words going forward, it is very important that the New York Times and other mainstream media titans expose how wealthy people, usually Republicans, manipulate tax loopholes to avoid paying their fair share while at the same time saddling the poor and middle class with significant tax burdens.


According to the New York Times piece, the specific tax loophole Kushner manipulated allows real estate investors to use the depreciation on their assets (real estate) to write off their taxable incomes. Yours Truly is not a tax expert and therefore not at liberty to go into the weeds of real estate tax law, but it certainly appears from the New York Times piece that rich real estate investors look at their taxable income and then make up depreciation amounts on their property that either significantly reduces or totally wipes out their taxable income–in essence cheating the system.The mainstream media has a duty to expose more about this tax loophole for the benefit of the regular tax payers who dutifully pay their federal income taxes. One of the biggest failings of the mainstream media is that they break stories like these that have great national significance only to get distracted by the next Trump Tweet or rally. There is usually very little or no follow up on great stories like these that are very important to grassroots voters.


Bottom line we can all agree that everyone needs to pay their fair share of federal income taxes. When someone like Jared Kushner who is worth an estimated $324 million does not pay any federal income taxes in 7 years, all reasonable people will agree that the system is broken and needs to be fixed.

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