9
Post-Nomination, Trump Property Buyers Make Clear Shift to Secretive Shell Companies

Nick Penzenstadler, Steve Reilly, and John Kelly, reporting for USA Today:

Since President Trump won the Republican nomination, the majority of his companies’ real estate sales are to secretive shell companies that obscure the buyers’ identities, a USA TODAY investigation has found.

Over the last 12 months, about 70% of buyers of Trump properties were limited liability companies — corporate entities that allow people to purchase property without revealing all of the owners’ names. That compares with about 4% of buyers in the two years before.

From 4 percent to 70 percent.

The clear post-nomination shift since last year to more shell-company purchases is unique to sales by Trump’s companies, even in his own towers and neighborhoods. Condos owned by others in the same buildings, and sold during the same time period, were bought by LLCs in no more than 20% of the transactions. In some areas, the share was far less.

David Frum, on Twitter:

Nobody’s calling it money laundering! But if you — purely hypothetically — were money laundering via US real estate, this is how you’d do it.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017