Trump's niece Mary files lawsuit saying family cheated her of millions

‘Fraud was not just the family business — it was a way of life’

Justin Vallejo
New York
Thursday 24 September 2020 18:10
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Mary Trump says the U.S. has devolved into a version of her incredibly dysfunctional family
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Donald Trump’s niece filed a lawsuit on Thursday claiming the president cheated her out of tens of millions of dollars while pushing her out of the family’s real estate business.

Seeking unspecified damages, Mary Trump alleged in a New York City state court that Mr Trump, along with his brother and sister, secretly took her share of the family’s real estate holdings while claiming to be her protectors, according to the Associated Press.

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

It comes after Ms Trump released her book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, over the summer.

The lawsuit alleges that the president, as well as his brother Robert Trump and sister Maryanne Trump Barry, devalued the interests that their niece inherited from her father and grandfather, which included a share of hundreds of New York apartments.

They pressured Ms Trump to accept a settlement that relinquished those interests in the Trump businesses, while providing fraudulent accounting that misrepresented the value of the estate at $30mn or less, according to the lawsuit reported by the Associated Press.

“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.

Ms Trump’s legal team would not disclose how much she received in the payout, but lawyer Roberta Kaplan told the Associate Press that she lives at a level “miles away from the luxury her aunts and uncles enjoy".

The lawsuit alleged the fraud was particularly egregious because she was targeted by the president and his siblings because they disliked her, citing tweets that described her as a mess who Fred Trump Sr couldn’t stand.

In a statement, Ms Trump said she only learned of the fraud after a New York Times analysis of how the president inherited and built his fortune.

“Recently, I learned that rather than protecting me, they instead betrayed me by working together in secret to steal from me, 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,” she said in the statement.

“I am bringing this case to hold them accountable and to recover what is rightfully mine.”

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