Sales of President Donald Trump’s real estate are being made to secretive shell companies that obscure the identities of the real buyers, a process that started before the election, and has increased by almost 70 percent since.
According to USA TODAY, journalists have spent months trying to uncover the buyers behind every penthouse, building, hotel, golf course, and other properties owned by Trump and his company. This investigation revealed that Trump companies own about 430 individual properties worth $250 million.
Each property ranges in price from $200,000 to $35 million a piece, according to the report.
Hiding Profits With LLCs
About 70 percent of buyers of Trump properties over the last 12 months are limited liability companies (LLCs). The LLCs allow buyers to purchase properties without revealing their identity. Two years ago, it was just about 4 percent of these buyers that patronized Trump properties, that number has skyrocketed since Trump won the election.
Most of his companies’ real estate is purchased by secretive shell companies, and the rate at which they are used to purchase Trump property is alarming.
It is interesting to note that years back when Trump’s seventh bankruptcy made him unable to borrow, he was rescued through money pouring in from Russian oligarchy partnerships. This was thought to have created a money-laundering scheme that created LLCs with the express purpose of buying Trump properties at a premium price.
The Khrapunov laundering network includes three companies, Soho 3310, Soho 3311 and Soho 3203, all of which are LLCs that have been operating within the Trump company since 2008, and are still very much buying the majority of Trump properties.
These companies were created in April 2013 in New York. After one week, they purchased the apartments that correspond to their names in Trump Soho, a 46-story luxury hotel-condominium in Manhattan.
Trump has sold 28 of those properties for $33 million since election day. The sales include luxury condos, penthouses, and more. The profit from these sales, flow through a trust run by Trump’s sons which Trump is the sole beneficiary. He can pull cash from that trust account anytime he wants.
This is the complete opposite of being divested from his companies, or having a true blind trust as Trump had promised.
The concern with the secret sale of real estate is that it allows people, corporations, or other foreign interests to influence the president by bribing him with the purchase of multiple properties without revealing their identity to the public.
Trump’s $33 million in real estate sales to undisclosed persons is not just from hotel sales – there is more to the millions of dollars flowing into Trump’s pocket, and a number of lawsuits hope to expose them all.
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