DOJ Slaps Ivanka Trump’s Business Partner With Lawsuit For Massive Fraud: Report
The U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against a friend and former business partner of Ivanka Trump for his alleged role in schemes to defraud the federal government out of millions of dollars in tax liabilities, Politico reported Friday.
The lawsuit, which was filed last month and made public for the first time by Politico, follows an August 2017 investigation of alleged financial wrongdoing by New York businessman Moshe Lax and glaring irregularities in the Internal Revenue Service’s handling of a $27 million lien on his father’s estate.
The suit, brought in the Southern District of New York by lawyers in the Justice Department’s tax division, seeks more than $60 million in unpaid tax liabilities. It alleges that Lax, his sister Zlaty Schwartz, and his late father, Chaim Lax, engaged in a series of complex “sham transactions” designed to fraudulently evade tax liability. The government alleges the family members undertook 10 separate schemes “designed to hide the Lax family assets from the IRS and other creditors and make it appear as though the Estate was insolvent.”
At a time when Democrats are working to make corruption a midterm campaign issue and a jury deliberates over whether to convict President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager for tax fraud, the suit threatens to further the perception that the Trump family and their closest associates operate in a corrupt milieu.
“The suit alleges that Lax’s father began the schemes in the years before his death in 2008 so that his heirs could inherit his fortune without paying his unmet tax obligations. Lax and his sister are accused of continuing the schemes with a series of elaborate transactions meant to keep the assets from their father’s estate hidden from the government and other creditors.
Lax, Trump’s partner in her first independent business venture, is close to the Trump family. He introduced Trump to her future husband, Jared Kushner, at a gathering of real estate heirs he convened in New York a decade ago. Trump writes at length of meeting Lax and creating Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry with him in her 2010 memoir, “The Trump Card.”
“My new associate was an entrepreneur through and through,” Ivanka wrote of Lax in her memoir. “I admired that about him.”
Lax has also told at least one associate that he has discussed financial strategy with Trump’s father, Donald Trump.”