Recently, I’ve run across several stories about Trump using mob language and tactics. This begs some questions: Is he mobbed-up? How mobbed-up is he? How long has he been mobbed-up?
Mobbed Up In New York?
Trump’s early mentor was a lawyer named Roy Cohn. You may remember Cohn as Joe McCarthy‘s lawyer. However, he was also known as being a prime “fixer.” The same function that Michael Cohen filled for Trump.
Cohn was also the lawyer for such Mafia types as “Fat” Tony Salerno, the head of the Genovese family, and Paul “Big Paul” Castellano, head of the Gambino family. Cohn made sure that young Donnie and the Godfathers got to know each other. This would benefit Trump as he took over his dad’s construction business.
Mobbed Up Trump Tower?
If there’s an icon of the “Trump empire,” it would probably be New York’s Trump Tower. The space it occupies was that of the Bonwit Teller building. Tearing down the Bonwit Teller building, Trump managed to avoid any labor problems. despite the fact that it was supposed to be a union worksite.
This was probably because Trump Tower was built using concrete provided, at a very inflated price, by S&A Concrete, a company owned by Tony Salerno and Paul Castellano.
On paper, the workers belonged to Local 95, a Genovese-controlled union. In reality, there were only 15 union workers on the job. They were joined by 200 undocumented aliens including 150 from Poland.
Ronald Fino, the son of a Mafia capo, said they were called “the sneaker brigade” for “removing the asbestos illegally.” Instead of taking it to prescribed sites, they would dump the asbestos and broken concrete around abandoned Brooklyn docks. This allowed Trump to recoup some of the excess money he was paying the Mafia.
Through the years, Trump denied knowing about the illegal workers, but in 1998, after years of litigation, he quietly paid a total of $1.38 million
Btw, the undocumented workers worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week, for $4 to $6 an hour and no overtime.
Joining Forces With The Mafia?
This mob entanglement obviously didn’t bother Trump. In 1988 he did his first “Trump” branding on a limo rental company owned by a “Goodfella” named John Staluppi. Staluppi was a “made member” of the Colombo crime family.
Also, around that time, Trump went into manufacturing drywall with a man named Daniel Sullivan. The company was later implicated in a racketeering scheme involving the Genovese crime family and the carpenters’ union.
Sullivan had been handling “labor problems” on Trump’s construction sites. He must have impressed Trump, because he was offered the position of chief labor negotiator. The job came with a $75,000 salary.
Mobbed Up In Atlantic City?
It was Sullivan who turned Trump on to a land-leasing deal with Kenneth Shapiro, a financier and agent for Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo. Nicky Scarfo, for those of you who do not keep up with things criminal, was the mob boss for Atlantic City.
Trump sent his top lieutenant, Harvey Freeman, to negotiate with Nicky Scarfo‘s “investment banker.” Freeman evidently didn’t have Trump’s negotiating skills, or something. Trump paid roughly $500,000 more than it was worth. Since Trump is always bragging that he gets the price, that makes me wonder what else he was buying.
New Jersey investigates the background of anyone in the casino business but Trump managed to talk them in to limiting its investigation of him. I wonder if that was because Trump was investigated for bribery in 1979. According to New Jersey law, you can have your license denied for not mentioning something like that.
Mobbed Up Money Laundering?
According to the IRS Trump’s Taj Mahal casino broke money laundering rules 106 times in its first 18 months of operation. He ended up paying a $477,000 fine in 1998. That was a “YUGE” fine. In fact, it was the largest fine ever imposed on a casino for violating the Bank Secrecy Act.
The DONALD’s Trump Plaza casino was hit with a $200,000 dollar fine for discrimination against women and minorities. But, Trump claims to love woman and “the Blacks.” (Though, probably not in the same way.)
In Fortune Magazine‘s 1999 list of the 496 most admired companies, Trump’s casino company didn’t do too awfully well. It dominated the basement ratings in management, use of assets, employee talent, long-term investment value and social responsibility. Doesn’t sound like his “management skills” are all that great. (Btw, his Atlantic City casinos are now “Bankrupt City” casinos)
More Mobbed Up Activities?
There’s Joseph Weichselbaum, a Trump Tower resident and a helicopter consultant and pilot for the Trump Casinos and the Trump family. Mr. Weichselbaum was convicted for cocaine trafficking in 1986. Trump not only wrote a letter asking for a lenient sentence, he also continued to do business with him after the conviction.
Also, some of you may remember the DONALD’s now defunct “Trump University.” (It was in all the papers and even a Doonesbury series.) He was successfully sued by the NY Attorney General over that one. It seems that T.U. was an “illegal educational institution.” Trump charged up to $35,000 for “Trump Elite” memberships that included personal advice from His Hairness, himself. (Somehow, the Trump neglected to ever show up to give any of that “personal advice.”)
And then there’s his vaunted philanthropy with the Donald J. Trump Foundation. Since 2006, the DONALD hasn’t donated one damn dime to the foundation. All of the donations have come from people and companies doing business with Trump. (Why does the word “kickback” keep coming to mind?)
Currently, New York State is suing the foundation for violations of campaign finance laws, self-dealing and illegal coordination with the presidential campaign.
And Then There’s ‘The Russian Mafia’
Over the past few years, we’ve seen more and more about Trump and people connected to the “Russian Mafia.” However, since this post is already about 1000 words, I’ll cover that in “Just How Mobbed Up Is Trump? (Part 2).”
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