Ivanka Trump and her brother Donald Jr. are sitting pretty now. But in 2012, they almost got indicted for fraud after lying to potential Trump Soho buyers.
They were in the crosshairs of the Major Economic Crimes BUreau New York City District Attorney’s office for two years, according to ProPublica.
They were accused of luring in buyers with inflated sales figures. But they didn’t stop at gilding the lily; the Trump Siblings discussed how to coordinate the false information they were giving out…by email. One email even expressed concern about a reporter who may have seemed overly curious. In another email, MiniTrump assured a broker no one would ever find out about all those false statements because only people on Team Trump knew.
As one witness declared, there was “no doubt” that Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. “approved, knew of, agreed to, and intentionally inflated the numbers to make more sales. They knew it was wrong.”
Ivanka & Don Jr were being investigated for felony fraud
They lied to Trump SoHo buyers
— ProPublica (@ProPublica) October 4, 2017
The net was closing in on them when suddenly, at the 11th hour, New York City’s District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. ordered his prosecutors to drop the case.
What happened? Daddy Trump’s lawyer, Marc Kasowitz happened. He’d worked for Donald Trump for over a decade as a civil litigator for Trump’s many lawsuits and had little if any experience with criminal law. But he did have lots of money, $25,000 of which he’d contributed to Cyrus Vance Jr.’s campaign.
He asked for a meeting with Vance, Chief Assistant DA Dan Alonso, and Investigative Division chief Adam Kaufman. Notably missing was anyone from the prime mover in the Trump Soho fraud investigation, the Major Economic Crimes Bureau.
Marc Kasowitz didn’t produce any new arguments in favor of Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. and the Trump Soho project. Somehow their troubles just melted away. In the typical leaky fashion of people who work for Donald Trump, Marc Kosowitz reportedly bragged about how it was “amazing I got them off” because the case was “really dangerous.” Of course, he denies this.
— Star Talent Inc. (@StarTalentMusic) September 3, 2017
The Trump Soho’s a luxury hotel, and condo hybrid in midtown Manhattan, Ivanka, and Donald Trump Jr. were in charge and condo units. Technically, Cyrus Vance Jr.’s in the clear since he returned that $25,000 and said that was standard procedure. But unsurprisingly, Kasowitz donated and helped raise over $50,000 for Vance’s campaign.
Now that the heat’s on, Vance says he’s giving back that money as well.
Of course, Marc Kasowitz says he’s not trying to bribe Cyrus Vance Jr. or anything. He’s just “extremely impressed by him as a person of impeccable integrity, as a brilliant lawyer and as a public servant with creative ideas and tremendous ability.” Because of course, he’d never donate in a “quid-pro-quo” manner.
In April 2016 as Donald Trump closed in on the GOP nomination, The New York Times noted the case had been closed. However, they didn’t mention the meeting or Marc Kasowitz’s involvement.
Donald Trump hyped up the Trump SoHo project on the Apprentice in his typical superlative-laden fashion. But really, the project was a fustercluck from the beginning. For starters, the building wasn’t really in Soho; it was a few blocks west right near the Holland Tunnel entrance. Zoning laws banned a residential tower at that location which is why the Trump’s called it a “condo-hotel” where buyers purchase a hotel room and hence technically stay there for more than 120 nights a year, less than half the year. The high-end units then went on the market in 2007 just before the economy, and the real estate market crashed.
— Catherine Parker (@carfulofkids) October 2, 2017
In 2008, Ivanka — with Donald Trump Jr. and their brother Eric — gave a press conference and said they’d sold over 60 percent of the available units. “We’re in a very fortunate position,” she hedged, “where we have enough sales, and now we are strategically targeting certain buyers.”
All that, of course, turned out to be a lie. Only 15.8 percent of the condos had sold at that point. It was a good thing they’d at least sold that many because those sales couldn’t close if less than 15 percent had sold. No wonder some of the buyers were ticked off and filed a lawsuit against the Trump organization in 2010, which led to the criminal investigation.
And as if all of this isn’t bad enough, The U.S. Constitution’s Emoluments clause bans the president of the U.S. from receiving any personal gains from local, state, federal, and foreign governments. Several states have pension funds invested in the Trump organizations’ properties…You know, the ones from which Trump family members haven’t fully divested themselves as they fleece the public in every way they possibly can.
— Hillman Foundation (@SidneyHillman) May 24, 2017
The bad apples don’t fall far from the decaying tree, and these apples are rotten to the core. Here’s an amazing video with protesters dressed as Russian soldiers at Trump SoHo.
— Thinker (@areta) August 8, 2017
Featured image: CC By-ND 2.0 Ida Mae Astute/ABC News via Flickr.