Davidson: How Trump launders $$ through his golf courses

Images Money / Flickr money laundering...
Images Money / Flickr

Adam Davidson of The New Yorker is a superb reporter who does his research and is prepared to dig hard to get the information.

He has put up a 13 tweet thread that goes into a fair amount of detail of how Trump inflates the nominal value of his UK golf resorts with money that may well not be his own.

For those who want to read it on Twitter, I am posting here the first tweet of that thread:

For those who want simply to read the entire thread, below the break is the Thread unroll and some comments by me.

Fun project you can do at home for FREE:

Look at public records for Trump’s Aberdeen property:

Look for “Accounts for a Small Company” start with 22 Aug 2007 and do every year after.

in a spreadsheet or notebook, write down:
Tangible Assets
Creditors (falling due in more than one year)
Cash on hand

Keep going through 2012 and on.

A fascinating story emerges:

In the midst of the financial crisis and housing bubble bursting, when Scotland was in economic crisis, golf resorts were struggling, Aberdeen—in particular—was in economic free fall due to end of North Sea oil exploration, this one mediocre golf resort outside Aberdeen… 3/
Was appreciating in value by millions every year.

Specifically: each year, the Trump Org “lent” itself millions, from NY to Scotland, spent it all or did something with it, because they had no cash on hand at end of year. And the self-proclaimed tangible value …

Increased by the same amount as the loan. Even though the actual market tangible value was collapsing.

They did NO work on the grounds for the first several years and then did minimal work afterwards.

It starts slowly, but by 2010, we’re talking about real money—10s of millions disappearing.

If this feels confusing or hard to follow, just send the Companies House accounts to an accountant in your life. They’ll see at a glance.

Then, do the same for Turnberry, Doonbeg, and—to the extent you can—Doral.

Same story. (Though the others are harder work, because of multiple ownership over the years)

Compare the dates and dollar/pound amounts to other projects at the time.

What you see is a NY “real estate” company claiming to be spending 100s of millions of dollars on consistently money-losing golf projects in a country overrun with money-losing golf courses.
This is (he says) his own money. But if you look at his public accounts and the data Michael Cohen provided, he doesn’t have this kind of money.

Also, think of all you know about Trump—does he spend 100s of millions on long-term projects that bring minimal glory?

One possibility:
– Trump so believes in the long-term value of resort golf in Scotland that he invested every penny he had (including huge amounts of money he never talked about because he’s modest). He signed on to a 20+year plan to work through the slow-moving …
… Scottish planning process to put all his chips on a project that could only return a profit long after he’s dead. And would bring minimal glory.

– OR he has a scheme to hide the source and destination of money through a nonsensical business.

– I have shown these docs to many accountants, former prosecutors, an FBI agent, and others.

Everyone agrees there is something profound here. Clear evidence of hiding money.

But work needs to be done: whose money? Where does it come from? Where does it go?

– Some interesting observations:

– It’s relatively small until 2010 then begins to explode, as if there is more money coming in then they know what to do with.
– He met Anar Mammadov in 2010. He uses golf to, um, process his wealth.
– Money goes up, more in 2014. 13/

Note in particular just starting from the 11th tweet:

I have shown these docs to many accountants, former prosecutors, an FBI agent, and others.
Everyone agrees there is something profound here. Clear evidence of hiding money.
But work needs to be done: whose money? Where does it come from? Where does it go?

Given that the Trump Organization is based in NYC, I am fairly sure this will be of interest to prosecutors in NYC (Cy Vance) and in the state (AG Tish James).

And remember —  some of this may still be within the statute of limitations & Trump cannot pardon himself or anyone else for state crimes.

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5 Comments on "Davidson: How Trump launders $$ through his golf courses"

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chris whitley
chris whitley

Dam, laundry day. And Putin already I put his order in for two suitcases of 100 dollar bills.

Hans bass
Hans bass

I dont doubt it,the guy schemes and cheats and maneuvers all over the place,then we are not allowed to look into his various tricks for some stupid legal reason…the laws need to be changed or corrected to show Trumps doings!!!!!


You would have to assume trump’s long / short term strategy is to change the pardoning power to INCLUDE state crimes, he’s already got his lap dog interfering with the SDNY to manage other potential fall-out, come his loss in November.

Dick Panico
Dick Panico

Standard fair for Trump’s (criminal behavior)
and disregard for any laws of our country .
He presiding over the “largest transfer of wealth
in the history of the world . From the rich ,
middle class, and poor , to the super rich
( his friends) , to the detriment of
the rest of our country .
He’s what he calls everyone else , a lier, cheat , sexual predator.

Kathryn A Baker
Kathryn A Baker

This is very interesting. Everyone knows trump is a crook but they have to get the proof. He will be caught eventually. Remember, the F.B.I. got Al Capone for tax evasion!????