The Trump Organization
The Trump Organization
The Trump Organization is the collective name for a group of approximately 500 business entities of which Donald Trump is the sole or principal owner. Approximately 250 entities use the Trump name. Donald Trump's grandmother, Elizabeth Christ Trump, and father, Fred Trump, founded the organization in 1923 as E. Trump & Son, and it was led from 1971 to 2017 by Donald Trump, who renamed the company around 1973.
The Trump Organization, through its various constituent companies and partnerships, has or has had interests in real estate development, investing, brokerage, sales and marketing, and property management.
Trump Organization entities own, operate, invest in, and develop residential real estate, hotels, resorts, residential towers, and golf courses in various countries. They also operate or have operated in construction, hospitality, casinos, entertainment, book and magazine publishing, broadcast media, model management, retail, financial services, food and beverages, business education, online travel, commercial and private aviation and beauty pageants. Trump Organization entities also own a New York television production company that produced the reality television franchise The Apprentice. Retail operations include or have included fashion apparel, jewelry and accessories, books, home furnishings, lighting products, bath textiles and accessories, bedding, home fragrance products, small leather goods, vodka, wine, barware, steaks, chocolate bars, and bottled spring water.
Since the financial statements of the Trump Organization's holdings and Donald Trump's personal tax returns are both private, there exists a wide range of estimates of the Trump Organization's true value.
On several occasions, Donald Trump has been accused of deliberately inflating the valuation of Trump Organization properties through aggressive lobbying of the media (in particular the authors of the annual Forbes 400 list) to bolster his perceived net worth. He has released little definitive financial documentation to the public to confirm his valuation claims.
Founding and early history
An early logotype of the Trump Organization, as it appeared in 1976 correspondence from Donald Trump to the Penn Central Transportation Company
The company's background starts with Frederick Trump and Elizabeth Christ Trump, a German immigrant couple who moved to the borough of Queens in 1906. Frederick began developing real estate there. On 30 May 1918, however, he died of Spanish flu in the 1918 influenza pandemic, leaving an estate valued at $31,359 (or approximately $345,000 in 1999 dollars).
Elizabeth carried on in the real estate business after her husband's death.
She had contractors build houses on the empty lots Frederick had owned, sold the houses, and lived off the mortgage payments. Her vision was to have her three children continue the family business. Her middle child, Fred Trump, began construction of his first house in 1923, soon after graduating high school. Elizabeth partially financed Fred's houses, and held the business in her name because Fred had not reached the age of majority. They did business as "E. Trump & Son", building hundreds of houses in Queens over the next several years. E. Trump & Son went out of business during the Great Depression. Fred Trump next opened a supermarket, but quickly sold it and returned to the real estate business by 1933.
Fred Trump became a prolific builder of single-family homes in Queens and Brooklyn. During World War II, he constructed apartments and temporary housing for military personnel in Virginia and Pennsylvania. In 1944, he shifted his focus back to Brooklyn and began planning to develop large apartment buildings. He opened the 1,344-unit Shore Haven complex in 1949, followed by Beach Haven in 1950 and Trump Village in 1964.
Leadership under Donald Trump
Donald Trump worked for his father's business while attending the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1968 officially joined the company. In the early 1970s, Donald was made president of the company, while Fred became chairman of the board. Around 1973, Donald began referring to the business, which had previously had no single formal name, as the Trump Organization.
Donald Trump focused his efforts on major development projects in Manhattan, including the renovation of the Commodore Hotel, in partnership with Hyatt, as the Grand Hyatt New York (opened in 1980); the construction of Trump Tower in partnership with The Equitable (1983); and the development of Trump Plaza (1984). He also opened three casino hotels in Atlantic City, New Jersey: Trump Plaza (1984), Trump Castle (1985), and Trump Taj Mahal (1990).
In 1990, the Trump Organization approached a financial crisis and was believed to be on the brink of collapse, with Donald Trump and his companies owing estimated debts of $3.4 billion. Trump hired Stephen Bollenbach as the company's first chief financial officer, while Allen Weisselberg continued to serve under him as comptroller. Trump spent the following years renegotiating his debts, and gave up some properties, including the Trump Shuttle airline and a stake in the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. Bollenbach left the company in 1992. In 1995, Trump took another major step towards financial stability, launching a publicly traded company for the Trump casinos, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts. By 1996, Trump was widely considered to be making a comeback. The casino company did not fare as well, however, and Trump eventually lost his stake in the company to bankruptcy.
In 1997, Fred Trump transferred ownership of the bulk of his portfolio of apartment buildings to his four surviving children (Donald, Robert, Maryanne, and Elizabeth). Fred died in 1999. In 2004, the four siblings sold the apartments for $700 million to a group led by Rubie Schron, marking the family's exit from ownership of their father's business.
Donald Trump relinquished his role as chairman and president of the Trump Organization after being elected as U.S. president. On January 11, 2017, Trump announced that he and his daughter Ivanka would fully resign from the Trump Organization, while his two sons Donald Jr. and Eric would take executive charge of the various businesses, along with Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Allen Weisselberg.
Trump retained his financial stake in the business, despite having offered during the campaign to put all his assets in a "blind trust" should he win the presidency. His attorney at the time, Sheri Dillon, stated that Trump's assets would be overseen by an ethics officer, and that the Trump Organization would not pursue any new foreign business deals.
Under the pre-inaugural management agreement, Forbes magazine reported in March 2017:
The Trump Organization has curtailed some of its international work, pulling out of deals in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Brazil, while pledging to do no new foreign deals (though it has apparently resurrected an old deal in the Dominican Republic). Trump’s international hotel licensing and management business makes up only $220 million of his estimated $3.5 billion fortune, but it’s the most dynamic part of the Trump portfolio—and it throws off chunks of cash with virtually no risk. As the Trumps have wound down some international deals, they continue to push forward with new domestic agreements.
Eric Trump, in the Forbes article, discussed the "clear separation of church and state that we maintain" between the business and his father and said that with his father's U.S. presidency and related changes "[y]ou could look at it either way" in terms of business prospects. He also said that "he will continue to update his father on the business while he is in the presidency... 'probably quarterly... profitability reports and stuff like that'." The article quoted Larry Noble, general counsel of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center and a former chief ethics officer at the Federal Election Commission, and President George W. Bush’s former chief ethics lawyer, Richard Painter, as looking negatively at such multiple planned updates of President Trump per year. Noble said in part "if he is now going to get reports from his son about the businesses, then he really isn’t separate in any real way” and Painter said in part "at the end of the day, he owns the business. He has the conflicts that come with it.”
Also in March 2017, Forbes did a listing of all "36 mini-Trumps", as it termed the domestic and international partners—often described as "billionaires"—with whom the Trump Organization has worked over the years. Introducing the listing, the magazine reported that at least 14 of the partners attended the president's inauguration and some of them paid for $18,000-a-night accommodations at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., for the event.
As of 2019, Trump's net worth (as estimated by Forbes Magazine) is $3.1 billion (U.S.), with about half of that coming from his New York City real estate holdings, and about a third coming from his national and international properties (including hotels and golf courses). Licensing fees paid by outside owners for using Trump's name on their properties also contribute to his overall net worth
Selected completed properties
The Trump World Tower at United Nations Plaza
The Trump International Hotel and Tower (New York City) at Columbus Circle
Trump Tower, 725 Fifth Avenue, Midtown Manhattan: A 58-story mixed-use tower, the headquarters of the Trump Organization, was developed in partnership with The Equitable, and opened in 1983. Trump bought out the Equitable's stake in 1986, and now owns the office and retail components of the tower. The building also contains the three-story penthouse apartment that was Donald Trump's primary residence until he moved to the White House. The value of the tower was estimated at $450 million in 2017. Trump took out a $100 million mortgage on the building in 2012.
Trump World Tower, 845 United Nations Plaza, also in Midtown Manhattan: In 2006, Forbes magazine estimated "$290 million in profits and unrealized appreciation" going to Trump.
AXA Financial Center in Manhattan and 555 California Street in San Francisco: Trump owns a 30 percent stake in these two office buildings, resulting from a property swap involving Riverside South. Trump's stake in the two buildings was estimated to be at least $850 million as of 2013.
The Trump Building at 40 Wall Street: Trump bought and renovated this building for $1 million in 1995. The pre-tax net operating income at the building as of 2011 was US$20.89 million and is valued at $350 million to $400 million, according to the New York Department of Finance. Trump took out a $160 million mortgage attached to the property with an interest rate of 5.71% to use for other investments. Forbes valued the property at $260 million in 2006.
Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago: The entire project is valued at $1.2 billion ($112 million stake for Trump).
Trump International Hotel Las Vegas: A joint development with fellow Forbes 400 members, Phil Ruffin ("key partner"), and Jack Wishna ("minority partner"). In 2006, Trump's stake was estimated at $162 million. In Forbes in March 2017, the Trump International Las Vegas was described as a 50-50 partnership between Donald Sr. and Ruffin, with Eric as the primary manager for the Trump Organization.
Trump International Hotel and Tower New York: Trump provided his name and expertise to the building's owner (GE) during the building's re-development in 1994 for a fee totaling $40 million ($25 million for project management and $15 million in incentives deriving from the condo sales). Forbes values Trump's stake at $12 million. In March 2010, the penthouse apartment at Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York City sold for $33 million.
Trump Park Avenue Park Avenue & 59th Street: It is valued at $142 million. Trump owns 23 apartments at Trump Park Avenue, which he rents for rates as high as $100,000 per month, and 19 units at Trump Parc.
6 East 57th Street: Trump has a leasehold interest on this retail building, adjacent to Trump Tower, through the year 2079. The building was occupied by a Niketown store from 1996 to 2018. The value of Trump's interest was estimated at $470 million as of 2015.
Mar-a-Lago: A historic estate in Palm Beach, Florida, most of which was converted by Trump into a members-only resort. The property was worth as much as $250 million as of 2013. Trump also owns two neighboring private houses, valued at $6.5 million and $3 million.
Seven Springs: A 213-acre (86 ha) estate with a 13-bedroom mansion near Bedford, New York. Trump paid $7.5 million for the property in 1995. Local brokers put the property's value at around $40 million as of 2013. Trump had hoped to develop the land with a golf course or houses, but apparently abandoned those plans in 2015.
Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C.: The Old Post Office Pavilion, historically known as the Old Post Office and Clock Tower, is a property located at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. The Trump Organization developed the property into a luxury hotel, which opened in September 2016.
The Trump Organization operates the Central Park Carousel, a merry-go-round located in Manhattan's Central Park. In 2010, Trump took over the management of the carousel, where he promised to revive the merry-go-round after its previous operator was removed by the city's parks department. The carousel generates $589,000 from annual admissions. The Trump Organization has a contract to operate the carousel through 2021.
Wollman Rink, Central Park
The Trump Organization jointly operates the Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink, both in Central Park, with Rink Management Services of Mechanicsville, Virginia. In 1986, Trump offered New York City mayor Ed Koch to rebuild the deteriorating Wollman Rink at his expense within six months in return for the leases to operate the rink and an adjacent restaurant to recoup his costs. The work was completed two months ahead of schedule and $750,000 under the estimated costs. As part of the agreement to keep operating Wollman Rink, Trump agreed to also take a concession for the Lasker Rink as well, and the Trump Organization won concessions for the rinks in 1987.
The Trump Organization and Rink Management Services won the concessions to operate both rinks when the concessions were renewed in 2001.
The Trump name is prominently displayed on the walls of the Wollman Rink as well as on the Zamboni that maintains the rink. It generates close to $8.7 million in annual income from rink admissions. The Trump Organization has a contract to operate the rinks through 2021.
Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles
Trump Turnberry golf course in Scotland
Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, New York
Trump International Golf Club, West Palm Beach, Florida
Trump National Doral Miami: An 800-acre (320 ha) resort with five golf courses, 700 hotel rooms, a spa, meeting spaces, and retail outlets. Trump bought the property out of bankruptcy in 2012 for $150 million, and has spent over $250 million on renovations. Its value has been estimated at over $1 billion, and there was a $125 million mortgage on the property as of 2013.
Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster, New Jersey
Trump National Golf Club, Charlotte, North Carolina
Trump National Golf Club, Colts Neck, New Jersey
Trump National Golf Club, Hudson Valley, New York
Trump National Golf Club, Jupiter, Florida
Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles
Trump National Golf Club, Philadelphia
Trump National Golf Club, Washington, D.C.
Trump National Golf Club, Westchester, New York
Trump International Golf Club, Dubai: A golf course owned by Damac Properties and managed by the Trump Organization. Located in the Damac Hills residential development, it opened in 2017. Trump's involvement with Damac head Hussain Sajwani has been cited as a source of possible conflicts of interest for Trump's presidency.
Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland
Trump International Golf Links, Scotland: A links course built in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire. The development of the course was controversial because of local concerns about the environmental impact, as well as a legal battle over the construction of a nearby offshore wind farm.
Trump Turnberry: A historic golf resort with three courses and a hotel, located in South Ayrshire, Scotland. Trump purchased the property in 2014, despite having threatened to withdraw any further investment in Scotland amid the wind farm controversy.
Real estate licensing
Trump International Hotel at Las Vegas
The former Trump International Hotel & Tower, Toronto
Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower, Panama
Many developers pay Donald Trump to market their properties and be the public face for their projects. For that reason, Trump does not own many of the buildings that display his name. According to Forbes, this portion of Trump's empire, actually run by his children, has valuation of $562 million. According to Forbes, there were 33 licensing projects under development including seven "condo hotels" (the seven Trump International Hotel and Tower developments). Trump has generated more than $74 million in real estate licensing deals and has $823.3 million worth of real estate in joint ventures.
Manhattan: Trump Palace: 200 East 69th Street, New York, NY. Trump Parc and Trump Parc East: Two adjoining buildings on Central Park South on the southwest corner of The Avenue of the Americas. Trump Parc East is a 14-story apartment building and Trump Parc (the former Barbizon Plaza Hotel) is a 38-story condominium building. Trump Plaza: 167 East 61st Street, New York, NY (36-story, Y-shaped plan condominium building on the Upper East Side) 610 Park Avenue (Old Mayfair Hotel): Trump is helping with the construction and development of this property for Colony NorthStar. Trump SoHo: Former name of The Dominick, originally a partnership with Bayrock Group. The SoHo hotel was rebranded following The Trump Organization's exit from the project. "Russian-born" Felix Sater was listed as an employee of Bayrock when the partnership was born. Sater had served time in prison for injuries he inflicted in a bar fight before the Soho partnership.
New York City suburbs: Trump Bay Street: A 447-unit rental apartment building in Jersey City with the real estate development company, Kushner Properties and The KABR Group. Trump Plaza: An apartment tower located adjacent to Trump Bay Street. Trump Plaza: A 39-story luxury residence and hotel with retail space in Westchester County, NY with developer Louis R. Cappelli. Trump Tower at City Center: A 35-story condominium apartment building built in Westchester County, New York with developer Louis R. Cappelli. Trump Parc Stamford: A development in Stamford, Connecticut with F. D. Rich Company and Louis R. Cappelli. Trump Park Residences: A development in Shrub Oak, NY with Louis Cappelli.
Florida: Trump International Hotel and Tower Fort Lauderdale: Anticipated completion was 2007. Trump "decided to pull his name from the marquee and end his agreement with the developers" in 2009 and the developers defaulted on a $139 million loan in 2010, leaving the building faced with foreclosure. In November 2010, Trump announced he was no longer affiliated with the project. Trump Towers Sunny Isles Beach (Sunny Isles Beach, Florida): An oceanfront condominium development consisting of three 271-unit towers with developer Dezer Properties. Trump Grande Ocean Resort and Residences: A three-building oceanfront enclave consisting of the Trump International Beach Resort and two residential condominium towers, the Trump Palace and Trump Royale, with developer Dezer Properties. Trump Hollywood, a 200-unit, 41-story condominium tower in Hollywood, Florida, developed by Jorge M. Pérez and The Related Companies. Announced in 2006 and began construction a year later. Opened in 2009 and foreclosed the following year, before selling out in 2012. Trump Tower: Cancelled project in Tampa, Florida.
Other domestic: Trump Towers Atlanta: project foreclosed and cancelled. Trump Tower: empty lot in Philadelphia, filed for bankruptcy as of January 2013 to prevent imminent foreclosure. Trump International Hotel and Tower Waikiki Beach Walk: Completed in November 2009 with 462 hotel-condominium units. Trump International Hotel & Residence: was a proposed real estate development in Phoenix, Arizona, that was cancelled on December 21, 2005. Trump International Hotel and Tower: New Orleans (Project slated to begin construction during the first quarter of 2007). "Declared dead in July 2011 after the location land was foreclosed on and sold at auction". Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago: Completed in early 2009 (Opened to public January 30, 2009). Cost of construction was approximately US$847 million.
International: Elite Tower, Ramat Gan, Israel was a planned commercial real estate development slated to be the tallest building in Israel. Called the Trump Plaza Tower, Trump shelved the plans in 2007, when the site was sold on to Azorim for NIS 306.5 million. Trump purchased the site for $44 million. Trump International Hotel & Tower Lido Lake, West Java, Indonesia. Trump Hotels will be involved with the 700-hectare Lido Lake development, one hour from Bandung, Indonesia including a six-star luxury resort, 18-hole signature Ernie Els championship golf course, elite Lifestyle Country Club & Spa as well as a high-end residential offering including luxury villas and condominiums. One of the Trump Organization's partners in Indonesia is Tanoesoedibjo, who is "building up a following as he mulls a presidential run", according to Forbes. MNC Lido City is partially funded by the Chinese government. Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver, Vancouver. A prominent skyscraper in Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The 63-story, 188-metre-high (617-foot), mixed-use tower is located at 1133 West Georgia Street, was completed in 2016. Trump Tower Vancouver is the second tallest building in the city, after the Shangri-La tower located across the street on West Georgia Street. The licensed tower in Vancouver is a project primarily of Donald Jr.'s with its builder, "Malaysian heir Joo Kim Tiah." Trump Towers Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
Empire State Building: Trump acquired 50 percent ownership of the iconic skyscraper in 1994. After failed efforts to gain control of the building by evicting the master leaseholder, he and his partner sold the building in 2002.
General Motors Building at Trump International Plaza: Trump partnered with Conseco to buy the 50-story Manhattan office building in 1998, and then attached his name to it. The building was sold in 2003.
Hotel St. Moritz: Trump bought this Manhattan hotel in 1985 for $72 million, and then sold it in 1988 for $180 million.
Maison de L'Amitie: A 43,000-square-foot (4,000 m2) oceanfront mansion in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump purchased this property for $41 million at a bankruptcy auction in 2004, renovated it, and then sold it for $95 million in 2008, making it, at the time, the most expensive house ever sold in the United States.
Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Scion and American Idea hotels
Early in the Trump presidency, Eric and Donald Jr. Trump announced the creation two new signature hotel brands, Scion and American Idea, as "the next generation of the company".
After initially announcing as many as thirty potential deals in their pipeline, the ventures were scrapped in early 2019, with only one uncompleted hotel in Mississippi.
Other ventures and investments
Trump owns a wide variety of other enterprises outside real estate (which had an estimated 2013 value of US$317.6 million). Other investments include a 17.2% stake in Parker Adnan, Inc. (formerly AdnanCo Group), a Bermuda-based financial services holdings company.
Beyond his traditional ventures in the real-estate, hospitality, and entertainment fields and having carved out a niche for the Trump brand within these industries, Trump has moved on to establish the Trump name and brand in a multitude of other industries and products.
He has made millions attaching his name to numerous products and services that range from energy drinks to books. He took in $1.1 million in men's wear licensing royalties. Trump earns $15,000 to $100,000 in book royalties and $2.2 million for his involvement with Trump Model Management every year. Until 2015 Trump owned the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants, collectively worth $15 million.
Trump has marketed his name on a large number of products and services achieving mixed success doing so.
Some of his external entrepreneurial and investment ventures include or have included:
Trump Financial (mortgage firm)
Trump Sales and Leasing (residential sales)
Trump International Realty (residential and commercial real estate brokerage firm)
The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative (for profit business education company, formerly called Trump University)
Trump Restaurants (located in Trump Tower and consisting of Trump Buffet, Trump Catering, Trump Ice Cream Parlor, and Trump Bar)
Select By Trump (line of coffee drinks)
Donald J. Trump Signature Collection (a line of menswear, men's accessories, and watches)
Donald Trump The Fragrance (2004)
SUCCESS by Donald Trump (second fragrance launched by the Trump Organization and the Five Star Fragrance Company, released in March 2012)
Trump Ice (line of bottled water)
the former Trump Magazine
Trump Home (home furnishings)
Trump Productions (television production company)
Trump: The Game (1989 board game with a 2004 re-release version tied to The Apprentice)
Donald Trump's Real Estate Tycoon
Trump Model Management
In addition, Trump reportedly receives $1.5 million for each one-hour presentation he does for The Learning Annex. Trump also endorsed ACN Inc. a multi-level marketing telecommunications company. He has spoken at ACN International Training Events at which he has praised the company's founders, business model and video phone. He earned a total $1.35 million for three speeches given for the company amounting to $450,000 per speech.
The Trump Organization also houses ventures started by Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka, which includes Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry (a jewelry line) and the Ivanka Trump Lifestyle Collection (a high-end designer-fashion and cosmetics line that includes fragrances, footwear, handbags, outerwear and eyewear collections).
Coats of arms
The coat of arms granted to Davies in 1939 bears the motto "Integritas".
The coat of arms granted to "The Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd" in 2011 bears the battle cry: "Nunquam Concedere".
Coat of arms used at Trump golf courses in Scotland and Ireland
Donald Trump has used a number of logos in the style of coats of arms for his businesses.
Joseph E. Davies, third husband of Marjorie Merriweather Post and a former US ambassador of Welsh origins, was granted a coat of arms by British heraldic authorities in 1939. After Donald Trump purchased Mar-a-Lago, the Florida estate built by Merriweather Post, in 1985, the Trump Organization started using Davies's coat of arms at Trump golf courses and estates across the country. It was also registered with the US patent and trademark office.
In 2008, Trump attempted to establish the American logo at his new Trump International Golf Links in Balmedie, Scotland, but was warned by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, the highest authority for Scottish heraldry, that an act of the Scottish Parliament from 1672 disallows people using unregistered arms. In January 2012, shortly after the inauguration of the golf course, Trump unveiled the new coat of arms that had been granted to "The Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd" by the Lord Lyon in 2011:
Sarah Malone, executive vice-president of "The Trump International Golf Links, Scotland", said that "the coat of arms brings together visual elements that signify different aspects of the Trump family heritage [...], the Lion Rampant [in the crest] makes reference to Scotland and the stars to America.
Three chevronels are used to denote the sky, sand dunes and sea—the essential components of the site, and the double-[headed] Eagle represents the dual nature and nationality of Trump's heritage (Scottish and German).
The Eagle clutches golf balls making reference to the great name of golf, and the motto Numquam Concedere is Latin for Never Give Up—Trump's philosophy."
Shield Party per chevron: Azure two Mullets Argent; Vert a double headed Eagle displayed of the second, beaked, taloned and langued Gules, holding in its talons two Globes of the second; overall three chevronels Or. Crest A demi Lion rampant Gules, armed and langued Azure, holding in the paws a Pennon Or flowing to the sinister.
Battle cry "Numquam concedere" (Latin for "Never Give Up").
The financial statements of the Trump Organization's holdings are private, as are Donald Trump's personal tax returns, and there exist a wide range of estimates of the Trump Organization's true value.
Donald Trump has been accused on several occasions of deliberately inflating the valuation of Trump Organization properties through the aggressive lobbying of the media, in particular the authors of the annual Forbes 400 list, in order to bolster his perceived net worth among the public over several decades. He has released little definitive financial documentation to the public confirm his valuation claims.
It is difficult to determine a net value for the Trump Organization's real estate holdings independently since each individual property may be encumbered by debt.
In October 2015, Forbes published an article titled "Inside The Epic Fantasy That's Driven Donald Trump For 33 Years" detailing its struggle to estimate the true net worth of Trump and the Trump Organization. In 2018 a former Forbes journalist who had worked on the Forbes list claimed in an op-ed to The Washington Post that Trump had lied about his wealth to Forbes to get on the list repeatedly and suggested that Forbes' previous low-end estimates of Trump's net worth were still well above his true net worth.
In 1973, the U.S.
Department of Justice's (DOJ) Civil Rights Division filed a civil rights suit against the Trump Organization charging them for violating the 1968 Fair Housing Act by refusing to rent to black people. The National Urban League had sent black and white testers to apply for apartments in Trump-owned complexes; the whites got the apartments, the blacks did not. According to court records, four superintendents or rental agents reported that applications sent to the central office for acceptance or rejection were coded by race. A 1979 Village Voice article quoted a rental agent who said that Fred Trump instructed him not to rent to black people and to encourage existing black tenants to leave. In 1975, a consent decree described by the head of DOJ's housing division as "one of the most far-reaching ever negotiated," required Trump to advertise vacancies in minority papers and list vacancies with the Urban League. The Justice Department subsequently stated that continuing "racially discriminatory conduct by Trump agents has occurred with such frequency that it has created a substantial impediment to the full enjoyment of equal opportunity."
Also, it is alleged that the Trump Organization has a history of not paying for services rendered.
Several hundred contractors or workers for the organization have filed lawsuits or liens saying they were not paid for their work, and others say they had to settle for cents on the dollar.
In 1989, New York State officials ordered the Grand Hyatt New York, a hotel owned at the time by the Trump Organization and the Hyatt Corporation, to pay New York City $2.9 million in rent that had been withheld by the hotel in 1986 due to "unusual" accounting changes approved by Donald Trump. An investigation by New York City auditors noted that the hotel was missing basic financial records and found the hotel was using procedures that violated generally accepted accounting principles.
From 2000 on, the Trump Organization held 50% of TD Trump Deutschland AG, a corporate venture with a German company, planning to build a skyscraper named "Trump Tower Europe" in Frankfurt, Berlin or Stuttgart, but allegedly never paid the full amount of their € 2 million share. At least three lawsuits followed and the company was disestablished in 2005.
On March 15, 2018, the New York Times reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as part of his inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, had previously issued a subpoena for documents from the Trump Organization. Alan S. Futerfas, a lawyer representing the Trump Organization, said: “Since July 2017, we have advised the public that the Trump Organization is fully cooperative with all investigations, including the special counsel, and is responding to their requests.”
In October 2018, The New York Times published an exposé arguing that the Trump family evaded over $500 million in gift taxes and estate taxes on the transfer of Fred Trump's wealth to his children. The alleged schemes involved siphoning money from Fred's companies to his children throughout their lives, and understating the value of transferred properties. The Trump family denied the allegations. New York tax authorities opened an investigation into the matter.
After former Trump Organization attorney Michael Cohen testified to the House Oversight Committee in February 2019 that the company inflated its asset values to insurance companies, the New York State Department of Financial Services issued a subpoena to Aon, the Trump Organization's longtime insurance broker. The Trump Organization is under investigation by the Southern District of New York regarding inflated insurance claims allegations, as of May 2019.
Timeline of investigations into Trump and Russia (2019)