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The Chumph’s Money Laundering Mob Hotel in Panama and Guilt

When you are in a high level business, it is also your responsibility to make sure that  none of the money that goes into the business, or through the business is illegal.

Keeping Mafia or Drug Cartel money out can be difficult – but the Chumph’s desperation because he was near bankrupcy made him look the other way.

 

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The Drumph’s Extensive Mafia Connections…

As I said in an earlier piece, you can’t be involved in a major real estate deal in that part of the world and not wind up with some shady connections….

And the Trump is dirtier than most.

Just What Were Donald Trump’s Ties to the Mob?

In his signature book, The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump boasted that when he wanted to build a casino in Atlantic City, he persuaded the state attorney general to limit the investigation of his background to six months. Most potential owners were scrutinized for more than a year. Trump argued that he was “clean as a whistle”—young enough that he hadn’t had time to get into any sort of trouble. He got the sped-up background check, and eventually got the casino license.

But Trump was not clean as a whistle. Beginning three years earlier, he’d hired mobbed-up firms to erect Trump Tower and his Trump Plaza apartment building in Manhattan, including buying ostensibly overpriced concrete from a company controlled by mafia chieftains Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno and Paul Castellano. That story eventually came out in a federal investigation, which also concluded that in a construction industry saturated with mob influence, the Trump Plaza apartment building most likely benefited from connections to racketeering. Trump also failed to disclose that he was under investigation by a grand jury directed by the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, who wanted to learn how Trump obtained an option to buy the Penn Central railroad yards on the West Side of Manhattan.

Why did Trump get his casino license anyway? Why didn’t investigators look any harder? And how deep did his connections to criminals really go?

These questions ate at me as I wrote about Atlantic City for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and then went more deeply into the issues in a book, Temples of Chance: How America Inc. Bought Out Murder Inc. to Win Control of the Casino Business. In all, I’ve covered Donald Trump off and on for 27 years, and in that time I’ve encountered multiple threads linking Trump to organized crime. Some of Trump’s unsavory connections have been followed by investigators and substantiated in court; some haven’t. And some of those links have continued until recent years, though when confronted with evidence of such associations, Trump has often claimed a faulty memory. In an April 27 phone call to respond to my questions for this story, Trump told me he did not recall many of the events recounted in this article and they “were a long time ago.” He also said that I had “sometimes been fair, sometimes not” in writing about him, adding “if I don’t like what you write, I’ll sue you.”

I’m not the only one who has picked up signals over the years. Wayne Barrett, author of a 1992 investigative biography of Trump’s real-estate dealings, has tied Trump to mob and mob-connected men.

No other candidate for the White House this year has anything close to Trump’s record of repeated social and business dealings with mobsters, swindlers, and other crooks. Professor Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian, said the closest historical example would be President Warren G. Harding and Teapot Dome, a bribery and bid-rigging scandal in which the interior secretary went to prison. But even that has a key difference: Harding’s associates were corrupt but otherwise legitimate businessmen, not mobsters and drug dealers.

This is part of the Donald Trump story that few know. As Barrett wrote in his book, Trump didn’t just do business with mobbed-up concrete companies: he also probably met personally with Salerno at the townhouse of notorious New York fixer Roy Cohn, in a meeting recounted by a Cohn staffer who told Barrett she was present. This came at a time when other developers in New York were pleading with the FBI to free them of mob control of the concrete business.

From the public record and published accounts like that one, it’s possible to assemble a clear picture of what we do know. The picture shows that Trump’s career has benefited from a decades-long and largely successful effort to limit and deflect law enforcement investigations into his dealings with top mobsters, organized crime associates, labor fixers, corrupt union leaders, con artists and even a one-time drug trafficker whom Trump retained as the head of his personal helicopter service…Read the Rest of This Damning Information Here

 

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2016 in The Clown Bus

 

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Bought Off Judge Tries to Hide Drumph Mafia Connections

Hard t believe that a major real estate developer in New York or New Jersey hasn’t had at least some contact or interface with the mob. Not that said contact necessarily means the developer has done anything wrong. In the context though or “following the money” on the Drumph…There very likely are going to be some cracks in the facade.

Judge asks US to defend secrecy of Trump associate’s history

A federal judge has asked the Obama administration to shield from public disclosure court records related to the once-secret criminal history of a former Donald Trump business partner.

In an unusual order prompted by an unsealing request from The Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Brian M. Cogan said that unless the Justice Department acts before April 18, he will decide whether to make the court files public under the assumption that federal prosecutors don’t care.

The case involves Felix Sater, a Trump business associate who had pleaded guilty in a major Mafia-linked stock fraud scheme in the late 1990s and cooperated with the government. The AP reported in December that, even after learning about Sater’s background, Trump tapped Sater for a business development role in 2010 that included the title of senior adviser to Trump. Sater received Trump Organization business cards and was given an office within the Trump Organization’s headquarters, on the same floor as Trump’s own.

Sater’s criminal past initially drew attention because of his ties to Trump, now the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. But legal disputes over information related to Sater’s efforts to cooperate with the government — which was ongoing during the period he worked with Trump — also raises questions about court secrecy.

“It seems to me that the government has a unique interest in keeping documents that relate to cooperation agreements under seal,” Cogan wrote in his order. “The government should speak and assert its position as to whether the public’s right to access each document in the record is outweighed by a compelling need for secrecy.”

Lawyers for the AP had asked the judge to justify sealing a five-year criminal contempt proceeding in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Not only did Cogan seal all documents in the contempt case, he also initially sealed the AP’s request that he unseal his justification for their sealing. When The New York Times asked the judge to unseal the AP’s request to unseal the sealing order, that request was sealed, too. Late last week, he made the requests by the AP and the newspaper publicly accessible — but ordered that the parties to the case file any response to them under seal.

The defendants in the contempt case, Frederick Oberlander and Richard Lerner, are attorneys whom the government said revealed once-secret court records about Sater’s crimes and cooperation. Sater’s lawyers, who once included Leslie Caldwell, now the head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, have said that Sater’s cooperation was vital to national security and disclosures about his past put him in danger.

Oberlander and Lerner said they never revealed sealed records. Some of what they had been ordered not to disclose is already publicly available in the Congressional Record, they said.

“We wish that people could inspect the documents, because it would reveal judicial and prosecutorial misconduct of the highest levels,” Oberlander told the AP.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2016 in The Clown Bus

 

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Couple Gets $2.2 Million Cell Phone Bill From Verizon

Sometime in the late 90’s, telecommunications providers went the way of the Mafia. They went from being honest purveyors of a product into being Scam Artists. Whatever the advertised price was bore no relationship to what you would be charged after they locked you into a contract. This was true not only for cell phone providers but cable TV an internet providers.

It would indeed be funny…If it wasn’t a standard business practice for much of the industry. And after the hit you with that $300-400-500 “surprise”, or that $60 a month contract that escalates to $120..00 in a few months with multiple dubious add-ons —  their collection methods would make a Mafia leg breaker blanch. They typically want $450 even to cancel the contract, They farm the bill out to multiple “Collection Agencies”, with little or no coordination, which frequently “forget” to inform the Credit Bureaus – and other collection agencies that you have indeed paid the bill.So it is not infrequent that folks are still getting “kneecapped” by the second and third nebulous “collection agency”, over a year after paying off the bill.

Cell phone bill tops $2 million: Verizon blames ‘programming error’

Your phone bill may seem high, but Ken Slusher’s bill must top them all.

When he checked his Verizon account balance last week, the Damascus man tells KPTV-TV the total topped $2.2 million. Slusher tells the TV station he’s received a series of erroneous bills since he and his girlfriend opened a Verizon account in November.

They initially expected a bill for $120 but were instead billed for $698, then received another bill for $9. He’s in the process of buying a house and is worried the bizarre bill may interfere with the deal.

They did their best to argue it down, got a second bill for $9, and canceled the service altogether in December. They returned the phones to a local Verizon store in January. But while customer service reps have said they agree there’s been a mistake, collection agencies have come calling. Slusher says his bank now won’t sign off on a mortgage he and his girlfriend need to buy their dream house for their kids. Verizon issued a statement Wednesday noting that a “programming error in an automated voice response system” caused the ridiculous figure, but said it was being resolved, reports the Oregonian

“We have apologized to an Oregon customer for a programming error in an automated voice response system that caused him to receive an incorrect message that he owed $2 million on his bill,” Verizon said in a written statement Wednesday. “We are correcting the error now and have resolved the issue to the customer’s satisfaction.”

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2015 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Grand Theft Government – The DC Govrnment Steals Poor Resident’s Property With Tax Scam

Anyone familiar with the DC Government, and who drives into the city is likely familiar with their Parking Gestapo, who write tickets and tow away cars to the tune of millions of dollars a month.

A new line of theft has recently opened up for the DC Government Mafia,  the theft of homes from the poor and elderly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars of equity, often for tax bills as little as $200. Often the people who are ultimately robbed of their property are sick and old, and in a number of cases the property owners have been in the hospital dying while most of their paltry savings in the value of their homes is ripped off.

And here you thought the only criminals in the city were Gangbangers and carjackers. They should have it so good.

Unscrupulous law firms facilitate the theft, as does a dirty courts system – through charging sky high rates, rapidly pushing up the bills owed by the property owners beyond reach.This is a criminal enterprise, no different than the Tammany Hall of yore, which dispossessed Irish immigrants to make way for developers in the notorious 5 Points section of New York City.

The Federal Government is complicit. To be honest, if they really gave a damn about anything except the press for catching a city Mayor smoking crack with his mistress – they would have put a stop to this.

 

On an overcast morning earlier this year, Bennie Coleman walked past his old house on the way to the corner store. But he said he could not look at it — the memories were too painful. Bennie, who suffers from dementia, had his $200,000 property foreclosed for a $134.00 tax lien, and the company which foreclosed kept the difference under DC Law.

 

LIENS, LOSS AND PROFITEERS

On the day Bennie Coleman lost his house, the day armed U.S. marshals came to his door and ordered him off the property, he slumped in a folding chair across the street and watched the vestiges of his 76 years hauled to the curb.

Movers carted out his easy chair, his clothes, his television. Next came the things that were closest to his heart: his Marine Corps medals and photographs of his dead wife, Martha. The duplex in Northeast Washington that Coleman bought with cash two decades earlier was emptied and shuttered. By sundown, he had nowhere to go.

All because he didn’t pay a $134 property tax bill.

The retired Marine sergeant lost his house on that summer day two years ago through a tax lien sale — an obscure program run by D.C. government that enlists private investors to help the city recover unpaid taxes.

For decades, the District placed liens on properties when homeowners failed to pay their bills, then sold those liens at public auctions to mom-and-pop investors who drew a profit by charging owners interest on top of the tax debt until the money was repaid.

But under the watch of local leaders, the program has morphed into a predatory system of debt collection for well-financed, out-of-town companies that turned $500 delinquencies into $5,000 debts — then foreclosed on homes when families couldn’t pay, a Washington Post investigation found.

As the housing market soared, the investors scooped up liens in every corner of the city, then started charging homeowners thousands in legal fees and other costs that far exceeded their original tax bills, with rates for attorneys reaching $450 an hour.

Families have been forced to borrow or strike payment plans to save their homes.

Others weren’t as lucky. Tax lien purchasers have foreclosed on nearly 200 houses since 2005 and are now pressing to take 1,200 more, many owned free and clear by families for generations.

Investors also took storefronts, parking lots and vacant land — about 500 properties in all, or an average of one a week. In dozens of cases, the liens were less than $500.

Thomas McRae ran a flower shop on the first floor in this house on Sherman Avenue NW. But a tax lien investor from Florida foreclosed while McRae was under hospice care.

Coleman, struggling with dementia, was among those who lost a home. His debt had snowballed to $4,999 — 37 times the original tax bill. Not only did he lose his $197,000 house, but he also was stripped of the equity because tax lien purchasers are entitled to everything, trumping even mortgage companies.

“This is destroying lives,” said Christopher Leinberger, a distinguished scholar and research professor of urban real estate at George Washington University.

Officials at the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue said that without tax sales, property owners wouldn’t feel compelled to pay their bills.

“The tax sale is the last resort. It’s also the first resort — it’s the only way in the statute to collect debt,” said deputy chief financial officer Stephen Cordi.

But the District, a hotbed for the tax lien industry, has done little to shield its most vulnerable homeowners from unscrupulous operators.

Foreclosures have upended families in some of the city’s most distressed neighborhoods. Houses were taken from a housekeeper, a department store clerk, a seamstress and even the estates of dead people. The hardest hit: elderly homeowners, who were often sick or dying when tax lien purchasers seized their houses.

One 65-year-old flower shop owner lost his Northwest Washington home of 40 years after a company from Florida paid his back taxes — $1,025 — and then took the house through foreclosure while he was in hospice, dying of cancer. A 95-year-old church choir leader lost her family home to a Maryland investor over a tax debt of $44.79 while she was struggling with Alzheimer’s in a nursing home.

Other cities and states took steps to curb abuses, such as capping the fees, safeguarding houses owned by the elderly or scrapping tax sales altogether and instead collecting the money themselves.

“Where is the justice? They’re taking people’s lives,” said Beverly Smalls, whose elderly aunt lost her home in Northeast Washington. “It’s just not right.”

In a 10-month investigation, The Post chronicled years of breakdowns and abuses in a program that puts at risk one of the most fundamental possessions in American life.

  • Of the nearly 200 homeowners who lost their properties in recent years, one in three had liens of less than $1,000.

  • More than half of the foreclosures were in the city’s two poorest wards, 7 and 8, where dozens of owners were forced to leave their homes just months before purchasers sold them. One foreclosed on a brick house near the Maryland border with a $287 lien and sold it less than eight weeks later for $129,000.

  • More than 40 houses were taken by companies whose representatives were caught breaking laws in other states to win liens.

  • Instead of stepping in, the D.C. tax office created more problems by selling nearly 1,900 liens by mistake in the past six years — even after owners paid their taxes — forcing unsuspecting families into legal battles that have lasted for years. One 64-year-old woman spent two years fighting to save her home in Northwest after the tax office erroneously charged her $8.61 in interest. (more)

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2013 in American Greed, Domestic terrorism

 

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