With mega swindlers like Madoff and Rothstein running rampant, a rapacious capitalist like Donald Trump is almost a sweetheart in comparison. But he does not come without flaws. The Donald faces litigation in Tampa and Fort Lauderdale for allegedly falsifying his role in the construction of two luxury towers.
The $300 million Tampa project went bankrupt last year, and now buyers are planning to sue. They're outraged to learn that the tycoon merely lent his name in a licensing deal with Tampa Bay developer SimDag Robel LLC. Buyers apparently hoped they were getting both the Trump name and the mogul's sterling reputation as an honest deal-maker. I swear, I almost wrote that last part with a straight face.
The Donald begs to differ, telling the St. Petersburg Times he had a "substantial stake" in the luxury condos.
Further south in Fort Lauderdale, take a look here at an exclusive tour of the soon to be completed Trump International. Buyers at this waterfront location who put down substantially more than the average American's salary, received notice that they had less than a month to complete their purchase or lose their deposit.
"The letter said the hotel portion of the property wouldn't open if less than 50 percent of condo buyers completed their purchases," according to an article published at Bloomberg.com. "It also noted that the Trump affiliation was in jeopardy under an agreement that allowed the New York developer to withdraw his name from the project."
Alan Garten, assistant general counsel for the Trump Organization in New York, says buyers should have read the contract before investing in the projects, which clearly outlines Trump's limited role and his right to walk away with his last name.