Posts Tagged ‘junk bonds’

Trump’s Taxes: He Screwed His Investors, Not Just Uncle Sam

October 5, 2016

Trump's Taxes: He Screwed His Investors, Not Just Uncle Sam

Donald Trump paid no personal income taxes for 18 years by deducting the $916,000,000 he lost in 1995, reported the New York Times in a story based on leaked information from state tax returns. To do this Mr. Trump had to forgo the depreciation deductions on his properties, which included his Atlantic City casinos. Donald Trump formed a public corporation and funded his casinos with securities he sold to ordinary investors impressed with his celebrity and a promise of 14 percent interest who were unaware of the tax burden The Donald had imposed on the properties by taking personal deductions on them. As the company collapsed and the bond value plummeted 70 percent, the CEO paid himself a $5 million bonus and bought a private jet. So much for Mr. Trump’s sense of “fiduciary duty.”

As Drew Harwell explained in the Washington Post:

“Many of those who lost money were Main Street shareholders who believed in the Trump brand, such as Sebastian Pignatello, a retired private investor in Queens. By the time of the 2004 bankruptcy, Pignatello’s 150,000 shares were worth pennies on the dollar.

‘He had been pillaging the company all along,’ said Pignatello, who joined shareholders in a lawsuit against Trump that has since been settled. ‘Even his business allies, they were all fair game. He has no qualms about screwing anybody. That’s what he does.’”