US President Donald Trump stands accused of lies and tax evasion over gifts from his father of $413 million.
The New York Times alleges that Trump was involved in tax avoidance, fraud and lies over the amount of money his father gave him.
In his campaigning for the presidency, Trump often repeated that he built a business worth billions based on a $1 million loan from his father.
“My father gave me a very small loan in 1975,” he said.
“I built it into a company that’s worth many, many billions of dollars.”
But the newspaper’s detailed report reveals Trump is not a self-made billionaire but a tax evader who avoided gift and wealth taxes by washing money through a sham corporation and undervaluing assets in tax filings.
Extremely inaccurate report, says lawyer
Researchers trawled through 100,000 pages of financial papers to unravel his family’s financial past.
A lawyer speaking from Trump says there was no fraud or tax evasion and argues the report is ‘extremely inaccurate’.
But the revelations have prompted New York tax authorities to open an investigation into how the Trump family managed their finances.
The likely outcome is more tarnish on the president’s reputation as the time limit on prosecution has passed. Trump’s father, Freddied in June 1999 with an estimated fortune of $250 million.
The NYT claims the Trump family moved money through All County Building Supply & Maintenance, a company acting as a purchasing company for Fred Trump’s thousands of apartments in New York.
No comment from president
The company issued invoices for boilers, cleaning supplies and other goods with mark ups of between 20% and 50%, avoiding gift taxes on the transactions.
The paper also says Fred Trump transferred property worth $41.4 million – suggesting the values were vastly underinflated.
The family inheritance tax bill on money and property from Fred and his wife Mary was $52.5 million, when the real bill on the billions of dollars transferred was $550 million.
The president’s brother, Robert Trump, said: “All appropriate gift and estate tax returns were filed.
“Our family has no other comment on these matters that happened some 20 years ago and would appreciate your respecting the privacy of our deceased parents.”