President Trump and his family reportedly engaged in potentially fraudulent tax maneuvers that substantially increased the fortune he received from his parents.
The New York Times dropped a story Tuesday afternoon while Trump was giving a speech in Pennsylvania that claims the president received the equivalent of at least $413 million from his father Fred Trump's real estate empire over the course of his lifetime, from childhood to today. A large portion of those funds came to Trump in exchange for his help in dodging taxes.
Trump and his siblings reportedly created a fake corporation in order to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents. The story also claims that Trump helped conjure up a strategy to undervalue the real estate holdings of his parents by hundreds of millions of dollars. That effort helped drastically reduce the tax liability owed on those properties when they were transferred to the Trump children.
In total, the Times found that Fred Trump transferred more than $1 billion in wealth to his children. That amount could have been subject to a tax bill of at least $550 million under the then-tax code.
The president declined to respond to requests for comments from the Times.
An attorney for the president, Charles Harder, provided the newspaper a statement after reviewing a detailed description of the Times' investigation.
"The New York Times’s allegations of fraud and tax evasion are 100 percent false, and highly defamatory,” Harder said. “There was no fraud or tax evasion by anyone. The facts upon which The Times bases its false allegations are extremely inaccurate."
Harded added that the president has "virtually no involvement whatsoever with these matters" and that the affairs "were handled by other Trump family members who were not experts themselves."
The Times story is based on interviews with Fred Trump's former employees, advisers, and more than 100,000 pages of documents, including bank statements, financial audits, accounting ledgers, cash disbursement reports, invoices, and canceled checks.