Trump niece says fam­ily cheated her of mil­lions

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - By Larry Neumeis­ter

NEWYORK» Don­ald Trump’s niece fol­lowed up her best­selling, tell-all book with a law­suit Thurs­day, al­leg­ing that the pres­i­dent and two of his si­b­lings cheated her out of mil­lions of dol­lars over sev­eral decades, while squeez­ing her out of the fam­ily busi­ness.

Mary L. Trump sought un­spec­i­fied dam­ages in the law­suit, filed in a state court in New York City.

“Fraud was not just the fam­ily busi­ness — it was a way of life,” the law­suit said.

The law­suit al­leged the pres­i­dent, his brother Robert, and a sis­ter, the for­mer fed­eral judge Maryanne Trump Barry, por­trayed them­selves as Mary Trump’s pro­tec­tors, while secretly tak­ing her share of mi­nor­ity in­ter­ests in the fam­ily’s ex­ten­sive real es­tate hold­ings. Robert Trump died last month.

Mes­sages seek­ing com­ment were sent to the Jus­tice Depart­ment and lawyers for the pres­i­dent. Mes­sages also were sent to a lawyer for Robert Trump and to email ad­dresses listed for Barry.

At a brief­ing, White House of­fi­cial Kayleigh McE­nany de­nied any fraud was com­mit­ted against Mary Trump.

Mary Trump and her brother, Fred Trump III, in­her­ited var­i­ous real es­tate busi­ness in­ter­ests when her fa­ther, Fred Trump Jr., died in 1981 at 42 af­ter a strug­gle with al­co­holism. Mary Trump was 16 at the time.

Ac­cord­ing to the law­suit, Don­ald Trump and his si­b­lings de­val­ued Mary Trump’s in­ter­ests, which­in­cluded a share of hun­dreds of New York City apart­ments, by mil­lions of dol­lars even be­fore Don­ald Trump’s fa­ther, Fred Trump Sr., died on June 25, 1999.

Af­ter the fam­ily patriarch’s death, Mary Trump and her brother filed ob­jec­tions to the will and Don­ald Trump and his si­b­lings “ratch­eted up the pres­sure” to set­tle by cut­ting off health in­sur­ance to their niece and nephew, the law­suit said.

It said the ac­tion amounted to “un­fath­omable cru­elty” be­cause Fred Trump III’s third child, born hours af­ter Fred Trump Sr.’s funeral, was hav­ing seizures and re­quired ex­ten­sive med­i­cal care, in­clud­ing months in a neona­tal in­ten­sive care unit.

As they pres­sured Mary Trump to ac­cept a set­tle­ment and re­lin­quish all in­ter­ests in the Trump busi­nesses, the un­cles and aunt pro­vided fraud­u­lent ac­count­ing and fi­nan­cial state­ments that mis­rep­re­sented the value of their fa­ther’s es­tate at $30 mil­lion or less, the law­suit said.

“In re­al­ity, Mary’s In­ter­ests were worth tens of mil­lions of dol­lars more than what De­fen­dants rep­re­sented to her and what she re­ceived,” the law­suit said.

Con­fi­den­tial­ity clause

In keep­ing with a con­fi­den­tial­ity clause in a set­tle­ment of the dis­pute over Fred Trump Sr.’s will, lawyers for Mary Trump re­fused to say how much she re­ceived. But the num­bers pro­vided in Thurs­day’s law­suit make it un­likely that she would have re­ceived more than sev­eral mil­lion dol­lars.

In a law­suit aimed at stop­ping the July publi­ca­tion of Mary Trump’s book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Fam­ily Cre­ated the World’s Most Dan­ger­ous Man,” Robert Trump said the pay­out was sub­stan­tial.

Roberta Ka­plan, one of Mary Trump’s lawyers, said in an in­ter­view that she lives “at a level that is cer­tainly miles away from the lux­ury her aunts and un­cles en­joy.”

Since her book’s publi­ca­tion, Mary Trump has pro­moted it ex­ten­sively. She also has re­leased por­tions of 15 hours of record­ings she made in 2018 and 2019 with Maryanne Trump Barry in which her aunt is heard crit­i­ciz­ing Don­ald Trump, say­ing, “He has no prin­ci­ples,” and, “Don­ald is cruel.”

‘Dis­cred­ited her­self’

When the sub­ject of the law­suit was raised Thurs­day at a White House brief­ing, McE­nany said, “The only fraud com­mit­ted there was Mary Trump record­ing one of her rel­a­tives and she’s re­ally dis­cred­ited her­self.”

The law­suit said the fraud against Mary Trump “was par­tic­u­larly egre­gious and morally cul­pa­ble be­cause De­fen­dants de­lib­er­ately tar­geted her be­cause they dis­liked her.” It noted that the pres­i­dent, in a tweet, has said she was “right­fully shunned, scorned and mocked her en­tire life.”

It cited tweets in which he de­scribed her as “amess” whom her grand­fa­ther “couldn’t stand.”

In her book, Mary Trump, a psy­chol­o­gist, an­a­lyzed the pres­i­dent ex­ten­sively in un­flat­ter­ing ways and made an as­ser­tion, which he de­nied, that he paid some­one to take the SATs for him when he sought to trans­fer to the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia.

The law­suit, which seeks a jury trial, would have to over­come laws that limit how long a per­son can wait to sue over fraud­u­lent ac­tiv­ity.

Mary Trump main­tains that she learned of the fraud only af­ter an in-depth anal­y­sis of the Trump fam­ily fi­nan­cial his­tory by The New York Times that dis­cussed how Don­ald Trump and his si­b­lings in­her­ited and built for­tunes.

In a state­ment, she said, “Re­cently, I learned that rather than pro­tect­ing me, they in­stead be­trayed me by work­ing to­gether in se­cret to steal fromme, 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. I am bring­ing this case to hold them ac­count­able and to re­cover what is right­fully mine.”

EVAN VUCCI — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump faces a law­suit by his niece, al­leg­ing that the pres­i­dent and two of his si­b­lings cheated her out of mil­lions of dol­lars. A White House of­fi­cial re­sponded that Mary Trump “re­ally dis­cred­ited her­self.”

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