Trump Dubious Tax Schemes Pumped Up Fortune — NY Times

Much of this money, the daily claimed, came to Trump because he helped his parents dodge taxes.

"The New York Times published an investigative report on Tuesday stating that US President Donald Trump took part in illegal tax schemes that let him inherit "$400 million from his father's empire, much of it through dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud".

The tax department is "vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation", officials told ABC News.

The Times has not seen Donald Trump's personal tax returns, which he has so far refused to release - unlike past United States presidents.

"The affairs were handled by other Trump family members who were not experts themselves and therefore relied entirely upon the aforementioned licensed professionals to ensure full compliance with the law".

President Donald Trump sold himself to voters during his presidential campaign as a self-made billionaire whose fortune was earned through hard work and business acumen.

The Trump Organization has not responded to requests for comment from several sources.

The Times investigation, which a Trump lawyer said was inaccurate, showed Trump received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father's real estate business.

The Times said Trump's tax-hating father used "relentless and creative" ways to funnel his wealth to his children and shield it from the Internal Revenue Service. The four children, including Donald Trump, each owned 20 percent of the company, which would pay contractors and suppliers for building maintenance as an intermediary, according to the Times.

Tax experts told the Times its findings appear to represent "a pattern of deception and obfuscation, particularly about the value of Fred Trump's real estate, that repeatedly prevented the IRS from taxing large transfers of wealth to his children".

The Trumps' appraiser, Robert von Ancken, concluded at the time that a portfolio of 25 apartment complexes and other properties were worth $93.9 million.

"The investigation also draws on tens of thousands of pages of confidential records - bank statements, financial audits, accounting ledgers, cash disbursement reports, invoices and canceled checks", it said.

Schwartz has long tried to offer interpretations of Trump's mind and on Tuesday he said that he guessed that the Times's report would enrage Trump more than "virtually anything that ever happened to him".

"There was no fraud or tax evasion by anyone", he said in a statement. Still, he said he was shocked by the breadth of information revealed by the Times report.

Among the tactics, Fred Trump gave ownership of most of his real estate empire to his children a year and a half before his death.

According to the Times, the future president was already a millionaire by the time he was 8 years old and was receiving the equivalent of $1 million a year from his father by the time he graduated college - an allowance that increased as he got older.

  • Tracy Klein