WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump engaged in tax schemes that included cases of outright fraud in which he and his siblings helped their parents dodge taxes, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.
The Times investigation, which a Trump lawyer said was inaccurate, showed Trump received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father’s real estate business, citing a “vast trove” of confidential tax return and financial records.
The Times reported that much of that fortune came to Trump because he helped his parents evade taxes, setting up a fake corporation with his siblings to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents.
During his presidential campaign, Trump promoted himself as a self-made real estate mogul who started out with only a “very small” loan from his businessman father, Fred Trump.”
The Times said its findings were based on more than 200 tax returns from Fred Trump, his companies and various Trump partnerships and trusts. The records did not include Donald Trump’s personal tax returns.
Trump lawyer Charles Harder told the Times: “President Trump had virtually no involvement whatsoever with these matters.”
Harder added: “The affairs were handled by other Trump family members who were not experts themselves and therefore relied entirely upon the aforementioned licensed professionals to ensure full compliance with the law.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report. Reuters has not been able to verify the report.
The New York State Tax Department said on Tuesday that it was probing the allegations laid out in the Times report.
The newspaper said the report was based on interviews with Fred Trump’s former employees and advisers and more than 100,000 pages of documents describing the inner workings of his business empire.
“The investigation also draws on tens of thousands of pages of confidential records — bank statements, financial audits, accounting ledgers, cash disbursement reports, invoices and canceled checks,” the Times said.