Ivanka Trump praises hard work — but reports show she’s as big a fraud as her father
White House senior advisor Ivanka Trump was highly critical of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during a recent interview with Fox News’ Steve Hilton. The White House senior advisor spoke out against the Democratic congresswoman’s proposal of a guaranteed minimum income, stressing, “I don’t think most Americans, in their heart, want to be given something.... People want to work for what they get.” But Trump is hardly the epitome of a rugged individualist who pulled herself up by the bootstraps. Although she praises hard work and self-motivation, most of her success in life has come from who she knew rather than what she knew—and like her father, she has had her share of questionable business practices.
On October 18, 2018, Colin Kalmbacher of the Law & Crime website reported that many of Ivanka Trump’s real estate activities had been deceptive. Trump claimed, in 2009, that a Trump property in Toronto was “virtually sold out” when in reality, only 25% of its units had been sold (according to a bankruptcy filing by the property developers).
Ivanka Trump, Kalmbacher wrote, claimed in 2008 that another Trump family property was “over 90% sold” even though less than 80% of its units had been sold, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Similarly, Kalmbacher reported that in 2008, Ivanka Trump claimed that a property in Manhattan’s Soho section was 60% sold even though a legal affidavit showed that only 15% of its units had been sold.
Law & Crime quoted federal prosecutor Daniel S. Goldman as saying, “If Ivanka knowingly and intentionally made false representations to investors that were material to the investors’ decision to invest in one of her real estate projects, then that is the crime of wire fraud…. The knowledge and intent is what makes it criminal fraud.”
Pro Publica has also reported on alleged deceptive real estate activities involving Ivanka Trump. In October 2017, an article jointly written by Pro Publica, The New Yorker and WNYC reported that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office had considered indicting Ivanka Trump and her brother, Donald Trump, Jr., for misleading prospective buyers in Trump Soho (a hotel/condominium development in Manhattan’s Soho area).
An indictment of Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., according to the article, “seemed like a real possibility” because they allegedly offered misleading figures on how well the units were selling in order to attract buyers. But Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, Jr., the article reports, ended up dropping the investigation after Marc Kasowitz, a Trump family attorney, urged him to do so.
In August 2018, Politico reported that the Justice Department was suing Moshe Lax—one of Ivanka Trump’s former business partners—for schemes to defraud the federal government of millions of dollars of tax liabilities on his father’s estate. The suit alleges that Lax and others in his family engaged in a series of fraudulent transactions to avoid $60 million in tax liabilities.
The complaint against Lax does not mention Ivanka Trump or allege any wrongdoing on her part. But at one point, according to Politico, she had an ownership stake in the company Madison Avenue Diamonds—which Politico said “figures prominently” in the case against Lax.
Politico reported, “The government alleges that Lax fraudulently transferred a portion of equity in Madison Avenue Diamonds at some point between 2008 and 2012.” And Ivanka Trump, according to Politico, “remained involved with the business” during that period.