Donald Trump, in many people’s opinion, is the most corrupt president in U.S. history. To those people that make that claim they have a legitimate reason to do so.
Trump has already done things since announcing his run for office that put him under FBI investigation today.
But Trump should be used to being under investigation. Below are five instances Trump is known or suspected to have been criminally complicit, but was not charged with any crime.
1. The obstruction of justice, 1981.
Trump shared ties with a confidential FBI informant named Daniel Sullivan, a mob-connected “labor consultant.” Trump hired him to help him get his foot in the Atlantic City casino boom.
According to Walter Stowe, one of Sullivan’s FBI handlers, who told the Washington Post last year, “New York was so totally corrupt and so controlled by the mob in the ’80s that in order to be a successful businessman, you had to have some way to work that world.”
Trump needed to help of Sullivan to get his first casino license. So when the New Jersey Gaming Commission asked about Sullivan Trump told them he was FBI affiliated “to nip things in the bud.”
According to City Paper, “there certainly was organized crime activity associated with Trump and his casino. Just a year before this, in 1980, Sullivan bought into a parcel of land with the representative of Nicky Scarfo, a Philadelphia mob boss. Trump immediately signed a 98-year lease on the property, promising the mobbed-up partners tens of millions in profit.”
This was all before Trump knew Sullivan was an FBI informant.
Trump made a promise to cut his ties with Sullivan after being investigated by the Gaming Commission.
Afterwards Trump paid his mobbed-up partners $8 million to buy them out. But what is fishy about this is why didn’t the feds move on Trump all those years? Trump was connected to mafia members and yet nothing was done about it.
2. The Empty Box, 1986.
Trump avoided paying sales tax on some $65,000 worth of purchases. During the 1980s it was common for people to avoid paying sales tax. How this would work was by walking into a store and buying something expensive then you direct that an empty box be shipped to an out-of-state address. Many, many merchants engaged in this shabby scam, which gave them a competitive advantage over honest retailers.
Trump practiced this scam at Bulgari, a jewelry store on Fifth Avenue. In 1986, to avoid losing his New Jersey casino license, he testified against the retailer.
Yet again, Trump was not charged and it remains a mystery as to why he wasn’t.
3. The briefcase full of cash, 1988.
In 1989, Trump sold two units in Trump Tower to the mob-connected head of New York’s largest gambling ring, Robert Hopkins. According to Wayne Barrett of The Village Voice, Hopkins showed up at Trump Tower with a briefcase that had $200,000 cash inside it.
According to Barrett, who reported the story in 1993, “Tony Lombardi, the federal agent closest to then-U.S. Attorney [Rudy] Giuliani, opened a probe of Trump’s role” in the transaction.
Hopkins’ mortgage broker, Frank LaMagra, offered to go up to Trump while wearing a wire to get him to confess. But Lombardi took it upon himself to go straight to Trump, who denied any wrongdoing, and that was that. According to Barrett, Lombardi “closed the Trump investigation without even giving it a case number. That meant that New Jersey gaming authorities would never know it existed.”
“Lamagra got no deal and was convicted, as was his mob associate, Louis (Louie HaHa) Attanasio, who was later also nailed for seven underworld murders,” Barrett wrote. “Hopkins was convicted of running his gambling operation partly out of the Trump Tower apartment, where he was arrested.”
4. The consistent money laundering, 1998-2014, inclusive.
This has been an issue since the late 90s. In fact, in 2015 FINCen, the Treasury Department’s The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, fined Trump Taj Mahal $10 million for money laundering violations.
This was the largest FINCen fine against a casino ever.
FINCen has been fining Trump Taj Mahal since 1998, when they assessed a $477,700 civil money penalty against Trump Taj Mahal for currency transaction reporting violations.
Trump’s casinos have been known to launder money, both while Trump was managing them and after.
Trump’s casinos could have been criminally charged multiple times, for concealment, structuring, and tax evasion.
5. The Trump University fraud, 2005-2010.
One of Trump’s biggest scam, if not the biggest, was Trump University. Between the years 2005-2010 Trump was able to snaffle at least $25 million from students at his university.
According to City Paper, Trump University offered “the usual free introductory seminar/sales pitch for the standard three-day paid class, which cost $1,500. He had more than 6,000 suckers for this, but, being Trump, he offered a high-price version for $35,000 and got more than 1,000 of those deluded souls to pony up for it.”
“New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman came after him but, as with the FinCEN case, only a civil case was filed. Trump settled all the civil cases for a grand total of $25 million after his election.”
Trump could have easily been criminally charged for the fraud that is Trump University. Schneiderman himself said that Trump University “is straight-up fraud.”