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President Donald Trump’s niece filed a lawsuit against him and his siblings claiming they committed fraud and deprived her of her interests in the family real-estate business.
Attorneys for Mary Trump filed the lawsuit in New York state court on Thursday, bringing the allegations against the president – who is being sued in his personal capacity – as well as his sister Maryanne Trump Barry, a retired federal judge, and brother Robert Trump, who passed away in August.
The lawsuit alleged that the Trump siblings took over the real-estate empire built by their father, Fred Trump, in the 1980s “and exploited it to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone around them.”
“For Donald J. Trump, his sister Maryanne, and their late brother Robert, fraud was not just the family business—it was a way of life,” the suit claimed. “They concocted scheme after scheme to cheat on their taxes, swindle their business partners, and jack up rents on their low income tenants.”
The three allegedly conspired with other parties to give Mary “a stack of fraudulent valuations,” and forced her to sign a settlement agreement, ultimately depriving her of “tens of millions of dollars or more.”
“Rather than protect Mary’s interests, they designed and carried out a complex scheme to siphon funds away from her interests, conceal their grift, and deceive her about the true value of what she had inherited,” the lawsuit said.
“Through each of these schemes,” the lawsuit continued, “Defendants not only deliberately defrauded Mary out of what was rightfully hers, they also kept her in the dark about it—until now.”
According to The Hill:
Mary Trump was a teenager when her father, Fred Trump Jr., died in 1981, leaving her with minority interests in the family business. The suit alleges that the Trump siblings conspired with Irwin Durben, a trustee appointed to act on Mary Trump’s behalf, in order to squeeze her out of the family business without her knowledge.
The suit says that, with assistance from Durben, the defendants drafted and succeeded in getting Fred Trump Sr. to sign a codicil to his will that designated them as the executors of his estate in 1991.
The president’s niece has previously made some of the allegations in the lawsuit in her tell-all book published this summer entitled, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.” Trump and the White House dismissed the book’s claims and the president called her “unstable.”
..Even whether it’s dumb warmongers like John Bolton, social pretenders like Bob Woodward, who never has anything good to say, or an unstable niece, who was now rightfully shunned, scorned and mocked her entire life, and never even liked by her own very kind & caring grandfather!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2020
Mary Trump’s lawsuit accused the defendants of having committed eight crimes: fraudulent misrepresentation; fraudulent concealment; fraudulent inducement; negligent misrepresentation; two counts of civil conspiracy; breach of fiduciary duty; and aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty.
An article about President Trump’s finances published by The New York Times in October 2018 reportedly made Mary aware of what had happened to her financial stake in the family’s business.
“My father died when I was still a teenager, and my uncles Donald and Robert and aunt Maryanne were supposed to be protecting me as my trustees and fiduciaries, ” she said in a statement.
“Recently, I learned that rather than protecting me, they instead betrayed me by working together in secret to steal from me, by telling lie after lie about the value of what I had inherited, and by conning me into giving everything away for a fraction of its true value,” she said. “I am bringing this case to hold them accountable and to recover what is rightfully mine.”
Attorney for the president and the Trump family reportedly did not immediately return requests from The Hill for comment.
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