CNN - "It was like we won the lottery," Beth Rosser remembers. Her dad, Forest Jenkins, had just secured a $200,000 contract to work at the biggest prize in Atlantic City: Donald Trump's Taj Mahal. His company installed toilet partitions -- not exactly glamorous, but important nonetheless. It was 1988, and a six-figure contract was huge.
"It was a big job. It was great. We were all excited," says Forest's son Steven Jenkins. Jenkins spent a month working at the Taj. "I had the fuzz from those carpets on the wheels of my dolly for months after that job." But what seemed like a winning ticket soon turned into a nightmare when the paycheck never came. "We weren't this big company," remembers Rosser, who now runs the company with her brother, Steven. "We didn't have tons of money in an account somewhere to cover things." Jenkins says his dad, who built the company from nothing, nearly lost everything. Forest Jenkins Forest Jenkins The Taj Mahal, the most expensive casino ever built in Atlantic City filed for bankruptcy in 1991, just two years after its glitzy grand opening. The bankruptcy meant companies like Triad Building Specialties didn't get paid. After years of fighting through bankruptcy court, the Jenkins ended up with just 30 cents on the dollar. Their company was owed $231,000, according to the bankruptcy claim filed in the case. The Jenkins family received $70,000.
The Jenkins family realized they weren't alone. Dozens of contractors who had worked on the construction were also getting stiffed. "It's 27 years later. I grit my teeth every time I see him on television blustering about what a wonderful businessman he is," Rosser says. "He stepped on a lot of people." CNN reached out to the Trump campaign about each of the business deals mentioned in this story. Those calls went unanswered. 'I tried to stand up to him ... but it's exhausting' Nat Hyman also knows what it's like to lose money at the hands of Trump. "When he's nice, he's very, very nice. And when he's nasty, he's immensely nasty. He is as rough as they get," says Hyman, who claims he spent years buried in litigation with Trump.