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My Friends Doubt my Trump Not Paying Bills Posts on Facebook....

by David Limbaugh

I have been aware of Trump's business practices, i.e. not paying people what they are owed, for a long time....

I have friends on Facebook who tell me my Trump not-paying stories are anecdotal or not telling both sides of the story. I became fully aware of Trump's business practices in 1992. I had read earlier stories about Trump by then but once I got involved in the construction documentation business, I learned far more. A lot of other people did before then. My friends ask where is definitive proof?

Recent news: DC-area contractors claim Trump owes them more than $3 million

Newsweek came out with several articles:





Let me start a list:

1991: Taj Mahal, Atlantic City


“J. Michael Diehl, who owns Freehold Music Center, sold Trump eight Yamaha grand pianos for around $100,000. “He put out a bid for pianos about a year before the Taj opened. I won the bid. I delivered the pianos, and I waited and I waited to get paid. And finally I heard from them that I had three choices: to accept 70 percent of the bid or to wait until the casino could afford to pay the bill in full. Or I could force them into bankruptcy with everybody else and maybe get 10 cents on the dollar. I took the 70 percent, and I lost 30 percent.”Talking to earlier this summer, Diehl said, “I'm not going to vote for him, that's for sure. That's a crude way of doing business.” Representatives at Trump’s company declined to comment on Diehl’s account and did not return calls for this story.

New Jersey state Senator Jim Whelan, Atlantic City’s mayor during the Trump years, and other sources who asked not to be quoted say Trump had a bad reputation among vendors even before the bankruptcies. “The fact is, there were a lot of small contractors and vendors who got hurt, who went out of business because Trump did not pay contracts on time,” he says.”

There are people who are happy with their dealings with Trump, and some that are not,

Donald Trump’s Business Plan Left a Trail of Unpaid Bills

Some were happy with their experience with Trump, “Among Mr. Trump’s satisfied suppliers is Bart Halpern Inc., a Manhattan fabric company that sold upholstery, drapery and pillow material to Trump projects including the Las Vegas hotel. Bozena Dziewit, its director of hospitality sales, said it has always collected full payments promptly from Trump companies. “We always have a very good experience.””

But some were not,

“Some small businesses, such as Classic Chandeliers in West Palm Beach, Fla., decided they couldn’t afford to fight. In 2004, Mr. Trump chose 5-foot-wide chandeliers with 75 bulbs from the store, said Judith Jacobson, who said she designed the fixture and worked there with her ex-husband, Nicolas Jacobson, the owner.

Mr. Trump’s representatives negotiated to buy three chandeliers for his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida for $34,000 total with a 50% down payment, according to court records. “The fact that he was Trump,” Ms. Jacobson said, “my ex-husband said ‘OK, we wouldn’t have any problems with someone who has the means.’ ”

Mr. Trump later sued Classic Chandeliers in Palm Beach County, Fla., court saying he shouldn’t have to pay in full because the company didn’t install the chandeliers properly. Mr. Jacobson, whose last name was spelled Jacobsen in the lawsuit, denied the claim.

Court records show the suit was dropped in 2006 after a planned mediation. Ms. Jacobson said Mr. Jacobson agreed not to be paid in full rather than accumulate legal fees. A review of Palm Beach County court records showed no other payment disputes involving Classic Chandeliers. The shop later closed. Mr. Jacobson died in 2015.

Mr. Trump said of Mr. Jacobson: “He was terrible, that guy…He didn’t do the job properly.”

But some other were happy, “A onetime competitor of Mr. Jacobson’s, owner Jack Shea of Reward Lighting said he had a “fabulous relationship” with Mr. Trump, to whom he said he sold chandeliers without payment problems. Mr. Shea occupies Mr. Jacobson’s former storefront and once bought some of his former business assets. “

Back to the Taj Mahal,

‘Little guy’ contractors still angry at Trump Taj bankruptcy

“Weak from heart surgery and a sepsis infection that would soon kill her, Patricia Paone was resting at home last summer when an apparition appeared on the TV — a famous businessman who had struck a deal with her husband years before.

"He's a crook!" she roared, according to a son who was with her that day. "I can't listen to this."

A quarter of a century had passed since Donald Trump refused to pay $1.2 million for the paving stones her late husband installed at Atlantic City's Taj Mahal casino. But for Paone and others like her — the dozens of contractors and their families who never got all they were owed — it could have happened yesterday.

The contractor who provided the onion domes atop the Taj had to eat $2 million in losses. The contractor who supplied the Carrara marble from Italy ended up filing for personal bankruptcy. The contractor who put in the bathroom partitions had to lay off his brother.

"Anytime I went to Atlantic City and I'd see that Trump sign, I'd think of the little guys," says bankruptcy lawyer Arthur Abramowitz who worked with contractors for years after the casino itself went bankrupt. "It wasn't just the money; a lot of these guys went into depression."

Of all the real estate and casino deals in Trump's long career, the Taj arguably sheds the most light on how the would-be U.S. president handles crises. It was his biggest gamble, the "eighth wonder of the world," as he dubbed it. And when it went south, his moves to avoid a financial hit to his empire hobbled many small businesses with little cushion to absorb the blow.

After the Taj opened in April 1990, the self-anointed "King of Debt" owed $70 million to 253 contractors employing thousands who built the domes and minarets, put up the glass and drywall, laid the pipes and installed everything from chandeliers to bathroom fixtures. A year later, when the casino collapsed into bankruptcy, those owed the most got only 33 cents in cash for each dollar owed, with promises of another 50 cents later. It took years to get the rest, assuming the companies survived long enough to collect.”

Another vendor had a problem:

“Five hundred miles away, in Ashtabula, Ohio, Robert Morrison of the Molded Fiber Glass Co. was pressing his workers to finish the domes and minarets and other faux Moorish ornaments in time for the April opening — and worrying about who was going to pay for all of it. An invoice sent a few weeks earlier for $1.4 million still hadn't been paid.

Many contractors didn't know what to think. Trump was denying he was in financial trouble: "I have a tremendous amount of cash," he told the Washington Post that March. Far from being overstretched, he told Newsweek, he was looking to expand: "I think the people with a lot of cash —and I have a lot of cash — are going to be able to make beautiful deals in the next few years."

"Naturally, you assumed you'd get paid," Molded Fiber Glass CEO Morrison wrote in a book about the Taj published in 1994. "Donald Trump was flamboyant, but he was an immensely successful contractor who paid his debts."

One of the reasons some contractors heard for the delay in pay: Trump said he needed to complete audits first to make sure they weren't overcharging. Trump had a reputation as a relentless haggler with contractors, always suspecting that they were cheating him.

"You have to be very rough and very tough with most contractors," he wrote in his 1987 book, "Trump: The Art of the Deal," ''or they'll take the shirt right off your back."

The delays meant that contractors had to keep reaching into their pockets to pay their workers and suppliers. Some couldn't afford the negative cash flow, and the money squeeze started rippling out from company to company.”

This was in the news in 1990:


In August 1990, the truth finally came out.

Over his protests, regulators unsealed a devastating report written by Trump's own accountants: The "billionaire" had been burning through cash in his personal accounts so fast in the spring that he would have had nothing by end of the year if he didn't take drastic action. If he had to sell everything quickly, according to accountants Kenneth Leventhal & Co., he'd be worth as little as negative $295 million.

I read this story in 1990,   

So when I say I have known about Trump a long time, I do – I read a lot! I just did not know how bad he was until 1992 when I got into the construction document business.

I have been reading Time, Newsweek and other magazines my whole life,

From June, 1990:  TRUMP: THE FALL

A Primary Source:  Report on the Financial Condition of Donald J Trump

Trump doesn't pay lawyers either, Trump not paying legal bills, lawyers say

Note the story above is from 2011, before Trump was in the limelight of Presidential Politics.


A pattern starts, “Family trees: That combativeness applies to anyone, anywhere. At Trump Tower he told Irving Fischer, chairman of HRH Construction Corp., for years the Trump family’s main contractor, to get rid of a bunch of trees that had been installed in the building’s lobby. It had been an ordeal getting the tall trees into the building to begin with, and Fischer was unclear as to how Trump thought they could get them out. “Ever hear of a chain saw?” he snapped. It cost Trump $100,000 more, but he got rid of the trees he didn’t want.

Does toughness necessarily translate into more money for Trump? Ask Eric Silverstein. His sign-painting company had been working overtime to get ready for the opening of Trump Plaza, one of Trump’s Atlantic City casinos. Silverstein was a minor contractor on a huge project. But for him, the $800,000 fee was enormous.

No choice: Trump kept asking for small improvements in his work, Silverstein says, and delayed payment until they were completed. Then, he claims, Robert Trump, who managed the project for Donald, called Silverstein to a meeting he swears took place in one of the hotel’s men’s rooms. Trump, Silverstein says, had a new offer. He would give him 50 cents on the dollar to settle the contact. If he didn’t like it, he claims he was told, he could sue. Silverstein says he had little choice. A suit would take years, and he simply couldn’t afford the legal fees.

Robert Trump says Silverstein’s company got paid less than what he contracted for because it did “shoddy work and was late in finishing it, besides.” Silverstein disputes those claims, but Robert Trump says “Anything he got paid was too much.” Donald says he is unaware of the incident, but adds, “If a contractor does a great job, he gets full payment on the first of every month. Sometimes even earlier. If a contactor does less of a good job, I will try to renegotiate. If a contractor has done a bad job he will go through hell.”

What happened to Trump's contractor of choice?   Downfall of New York builder HRH Construction

Local Atlantic City coverage:

Donald Trump in Atlantic City: Jackpot or crackpot?

In June, in some remarkable intellectual contortionism, Donald Trump tweeted: “I never went bankrupt but like many great business people have used the laws to corporate advantage—smart!”

Trump, the man, never did go bankrupt.

But the Trump casinos did, cyclically, and with disturbing regularity. “Serial filers,” Fitch Ratings called them.

Still, last summer, about a month before Trump Plaza closed, and with its sister property, Trump Taj Mahal, teetering on the brink of closure, where it remains, Trump said he “did great with Atlantic City.”

An inveterate image-burnisher, he pitches the four bankruptcies — in 1991, 1992, 2004 and 2009 — as markers of commercial prowess; just a “smart!” scrappy businessman playing hardball with mercenary lenders to restructure debt on favorable terms.

“These lenders aren’t babies,” Trump said in Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate. “These are total killers. These are not the nice, sweet little people you think.”

But the bankruptcies — starting with Trump Taj Mahal, which bankrupted about a year after Trump opened it using $675 million in patently unsustainable junk bonds — were less displays of cool resourcefulness than frantic episodes of Trump scrambling to bail on bank debt and keep his perennially overleveraged casinos from going belly up.

“The project was dangerous in the beginning,” said Bryant Simon, a historian and Temple University professor who authored “Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America.”

“A lot of people got stuck holding the bag, and he didn’t. So people resented him for that and felt serious financial pain.”

And it wasn’t just faceless bankers who got burned in the bankruptcies.

In the 2009 case, unsecured creditors — low-level investors, contractors, small-time vendors — got less than a penny on the dollar for their claims against Trump Entertainment Resorts (Trump resigned as chairman four days before the bankruptcy filing).

“He defaulted, and he walked away,” said Harry Smith, 87, a retired trial attorney formerly of Manasquan, Monmouth County, currently living in Jupiter, Florida. Smith saw about $91,000 evaporate from his retirement account when his investment in Trump bonds soured.

More 1990 stories:

Trump $50 million in arears on Taj Mahal project

Trump Criticized on Late Payments

And today, Trump has a long list of people he hasn't paid what he was supposed to,

Legal Battle Over Paint Bill Lingers as Trump Preps for Presidency

USA TODAY exclusive: Hundreds allege Donald Trump doesn’t pay his bills

Whew! Basically, Trump has had a long history of not paying people, from dishwashers to contractors, from lawyers to now his own campaign staff and pollsters,

Inside the Collapse of the Trump's D.C. Policy Shop

“Three former members, all of whom quit in August, told me that as early as April they were promised financial compensation but were later told that they would have to work as volunteers. They say the leaders of the shop, Rick Dearborn and John Mashburn, told many staffers that money was on the way but then were unable to deliver.”

and Trump is refusing to pay nearly $767K owed to his campaign pollster

Nothing has changed with Trump since the late 1980s...

Thank You,

David Limbaugh


FinCEN Fines Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort $10 Million for Significant and Long Standing Anti-Money Laundering Violations

Donald Trump’s Worst Deal

Trump Paid Over $1 Million in Labor Settlement, Documents Reveal

Bankrupting a Casino—and Then a Country

​​The ups and (mostly) downs of Trump Shuttle, the president’s long-defunct airline

10 Donald Trump Business Failures

​​Donald Trump's 13 Biggest Business Failures

​​Trump golf club pays $5.45M to settle claims from former members


Trump’s Conflicts of Interest in Mexico