CBS broke a damning story which reveals a pattern of illegal accounting changes, deceit and coverup, all revolving around one hotel in New York City.
IT ALL STARTS with a letter signed by Donald Trump on April 22, 1987, in which he approves a number of changes to the hotel’s accounting. This has since been proven by NYC auditors to have robbed close to $3,000,000.
Ten years earlier Trump was able to secure an arrangement where the hotel, The Grand Hyatt New York, would not have to pay taxes. The agreement instead guaranteed the city a share of profits which they call “rent.” In the years before 1987, that rent payment was generally in the area of $3-4 million. In 1986 the city received $3.7 million. In 1987, a year marked by record profits for the hotel, the payment was $667,155.
The next two years proved to be a fiasco of tax-evading proportions. City auditors were constantly and systematically stonewalled, stalled, and stalemated, as Trump, the Hyatt Corporation, and their legal team lied while presenting a picture of disorganization and sketchy-at-best accounting practices. A baffling amount of paperwork was unable to be produced, even from just the year before, including:
- Seven of 12 monthly ledgers
Three of 12 detailed ledgers
25 of 87 income journals
One of five payroll cycles
26 of 84 expense vouchers
In 1989 state officials ordered the Hyatt Corporation to pay New York City about $2.9 million. A month later, in January 1990, a Trump Organization official signed for the ownership partners on a lawsuit against the city and state. The case was finally settled in 2004; the terms of the settlement are not available.
So here we are, thirty years later, with the offending party as the Republican nominee for president. He now claims he is currently under routine audit, presenting the American public that scenario as the reason he won’t release his tax returns.
Read the original story by CBS here, and catch a glimpse into what it is like trying to audit Donald Trump.