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Felix Sater, Senior Adviser and Mafia man Pictured with Donald Trump (ABC News)

Donald Trump sells himself as an American success story, a boy that did good. Behind the lavish parties of the 1980’s, the spectacular bankruptcies of the 1990’s and his comeback over the last couple of decades, lies the real Trump. A man no one in the main stream is really investigating.

The real Trump story is filled with backroom deals with shady characters, exploitation of illegal labor, partnerships with mob figures, purchases of political favors and a host of other facts have yet to fully see the light of day. The New York charlatan has, in many ways, much in common with Hilliary Clinton. He, like her, has a long history of skirting the law and getting away with it. The following tries to peal back some the curtain on some Trump stage show, giving a peek at what the real Donald Trump is like.

Trump is the son of Fred Trump, a construction contractor and general developer from Brooklyn. Fred was by all accounts a tough cookie who was once associated with the KKK, even being arrested in a brawl with police. Fred, Donald’s first mentor, got rich exchanging political contacts for contracts to build government backed housing developments.

For Donald, his first big deal was to take over development of a piece of old railroad property, to gain the confidence of the owners he played on his fathers connections at New York city hall. This was probably one of his last semi-honest deals. On his very next project he lied to investors, saying he had developer rights to a hotel property (The Commodore), and then used the money he got from them to get those rights. He would later be sued by Hyatt, his partner in the property redevelopment, for breech of contract.

Trumps signature achievement in the 1980s was, without a doubt, the Trump Tower. For Trump, demolishing an old building on prime real estate, was the first step towards building his signature master piece. To get this going, he hired a window washer (William Kazycki) turned demolition man to oversee the  work. Work that was carried out by 200 illegal polish workers paid 1/3 the going rate. Working without proper safety gear, in an asbestos laden building, the polish workers would later take Trump to court. Trump denied knowledge of what was going on, but the judge said that was not credible and declared him legally liable and a co-conspirator in the case.

On the same job, the disposal of the building’s toxic waste took on another twist. A mobster, named Eddie Garofalo, was hired to make it all disappear. No permits were ask for, no expensive tagging of the Asbestos, just trucked away to who knows where. Garofalo would later be executed by the mob on a unrelated matter, a high value Trump Taj Mahal comp card in his pocket. This would be the first of many brushes with organized crime for The Donald. Connections that were made easier through his lawyer, legendary mob attorney Roy Cohn. This may also answer how he was able to run a major construction project, in downtown New York, with almost entirely scab labor, without any trouble from the unions. (Cohn also personally made arrangements for the cement to be delivered on time to the project, necessary since the cement business in New York at the time was mob owned).

Trump quickly moved on to his next big venture, Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. Purchasing the land from Salvatore Testa, a mafia made man, for 1.1 million in 1984 (twice its estimated value). Two of the construction firms that worked on the project, Scarfo and Nat Nat, were mob affiliates. More curious was Trumps insistence to build the building out of concrete instead of steal. Steal was the much more sensible and economical choice, especially with Trump being such a stickler for cost. Of course, the fact that S&A concrete, a company partially owned by mafia kingpin Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno got the cement contract might of had something to do with it. Another crime figure, Kenneth Shapiro, a mob investment banker was connected to Trump Plaza land deals as well. Trump also used Danny Sullivan, a former Teamsters Union official and mob associate, as a “labor negotiator” for Trumps Grand Hyatt project.

Of course things do not end here, mob companies continued to provide material for Trump projects,  An executive at the Trump Taj Mahal, Danny Leung, was found to be a member of a Hong Kong triad in 1993. In 1998 another mob associate working for Trump’s real-estate broker/development partner Bayrock, Felix Sater, was indicted by the FBI, but was able to avoid prosecution by turning on his fellow mobsters. He was later hired as an adviser to Trump.

Another firm Trump is partners with, especially in his Trump SOHO project, is Tamir Sapir, Sapir, whom Trump calls a good friend, had has his executive Vice President a man named Fred Contini who pled guilty to racketeering changes involving the Gambino crime family. Sapir himself paid former Democratic senator Al D’Amato $500,000 to put pressure on the city government for him.

Trump has also managed to have business partnerships with a few felons. Engin Yesi, a partner in the Bayrock company, was convicted in 1980 of distributing cocaine. To stay in the U.S., he turned state evidence on the drug traffickers. Raoul Goldberger, a partner in Trump Towers Philadelphia, was convicted in 1999 of trying to ship ecstasy pills into the U.S. from Belgium. Tevfik Arif, also part of Bayrock was captured off the Turkish coast on a boat serving up Eastern European models for Ultra rich patrons.(some of whom were underage). Arif partnered with Trump, through Bayrock, in the SoHo Hotel Condominium in New York and the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Fort Lauderdale in Florida.

These are but a taste of the questionable contacts and partnerships Donald Trump has had, but surely not nearly all. While one could be tempted to excuse the Mafia dealings as the price for doing business in New York, Trump seemed to go the extra mile. He looked to be actively seeking out mob firms for his projects, he certainly did not avoid them. It appeared that he was more interested in leveraging mob contacts for his own advantage, than trying to keep to any ethical  standard. Of course, that is a pattern that goes far beyond just his construction activities, more on that in the next post.

“The Conservative Mind”

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{Besides the names links above, there are more listed below. Those names associated with questionable activities on a sites listed below, were only included above if collaborative data could be ascertained.}


Trumpthemovie.com (documentary on Trumps early dirty dealings)