A major investigation by USA Today has revealed one of the sordid secrets to the profit making in Donald Trump’s business empire: don’t pay your bills in full, whether from small businesses, contractors or even the lawyers you’ve hired to stonewall them.
The overall ugly picture that emerges goes far beyond Trump’s use of bankruptcy court, where debts can be forgiven or restructured depending on their category and type of federal bankruptcy filing. What’s most provocative about USA Today’s reporting, which goes beyond previous accounts of the same tactics or his mob connections, is how Trump has a longstanding pattern of ignoring his bills and walking away from debts owed contractors and employees.
“At least 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of liens, judgments and other government filings reviewed by the USA Today Network, document people who have accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work,” the newspaper wrote Friday. “Among them: a dishwasher in Florida. A glass company in New Jersey. A carpet company. A plumber. Painters. Forty-eight waiters. Dozens of bartenders and other hourly workers at his resorts and clubs, coast to coast. Real estate brokers who sold his properties. And, ironically, several law firms that once represented him in these suits and others.”
That summation is the tip of a later iceberg, and one that should make Trump’s white, working-class followers shudder—because he has a habit of stiffing blue-collar laborers.
“In addition to the lawsuits, the review found more than 200 mechanic’s liens—filed by contractors and employees against Trump, his companies or his properties claiming they were owed money for their work—since the 1980s,” USA Today wrote. “The liens range from a $75,000 claim by a Plainview, N.Y., air conditioning and heating company to a $1 million claim from the president of a New York City real estate banking firm. On just one project, Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, records released by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission in 1990 show that at least 253 subcontractors weren’t paid in full or on time, including workers who installed walls, chandeliers and plumbing.”
USA Today sums up Donald Trump as an businessman who repeatedly doesn't pay his bills and relentlessly fights paying in court. It wrote, “The actions in total paint a portrait of Trump’s sprawling organization frequently failing to pay small businesses and individuals, then sometimes tying them up in court and other negotiations for years. In some cases, the Trump teams financially overpower and outlast much smaller opponents, draining their resources. Some just give up the fight, or settle for less; some have ended up in bankruptcy or out of business altogether.”
Other Trump problems