Even as everyone from the FBI to the State of New York to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees attempt to determine whether the money Donald Trump has received from Deutsche Bank is the same money that Deutsche Bank was laundering from Russia to New York City, it turns out a hotel owned by Donald Trump has already been busted for money laundering. In fact the punitive action came just before he entered the 2016 election.
Trump announced his candidacy in June of 2015. But just three months earlier, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a division of the U.S. Treasury Department, hit the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort with $10 million in penalties (source: fincen.gov). In its headline, the announcement made clear that the Trump Taj Mahal had engaged in “Significant and Long Standing Anti-Money Laundering Violations.” And the violations occurred while Donald Trump was still a key shareholder in the company.
Donald Trump’s ownership stake in the Trump Taj Mahal dwindled steadily during the course of its run. For instance he sold off a minority stake just to get the doors open in the first place (source: Washington Post). But he didn’t relinquish his final ten percent ownership until February of 2016 (source: Associated Press) when his associate Carl Icahn took over.
So whereas most Trump-branded buildings have little financial connection to Donald Trump, in contrast all of the Trump Taj Mahal money laundering violations occurred while Donald Trump was part owner. And with the Treasury Department stating that the money laundering took place “over many years,” it means at least some of it took place back when Trump still owned a predominant stake. So this wasn’t merely a Trump connected property being busted; this was Donald Trump being busted.
Even as authorities and oversight bodies attempt to determine whether Donald Trump is guilty of having been on the receiving end of a Russian money laundering scheme in relation to the 2016 election, we already know he was busted in a different money laundering scandal before the election even began. It further raises the question of why, when Trump first entered the race, the media didn’t bother to report that he and his hotel had just been caught up in money laundering three months earlier. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report