There’s nothing like a motivated investigative reporter to ruin Donald Trump’s day. Seth Hettena of Rolling Stone, in keeping with their recent explosive stories about Trump’s troubles, is the author of a new report from the magazine detailing a new scandal for Trump to hide from.
According to Hettena, a former employee inside the Trump Organization came forward with claims that the Trump Organization had committed insurance fraud after a natural disaster in 2011.
Flooding at Trump’s Briarcliff Golf Course that year caused enough damage to merit a claim to the Organization’s insurance company. They ended up getting more than a million dollars, but it turned out that the damage wasn’t nearly that extensive, and they spent almost none of that money on repairs. From the article:
When a deluge flooded the Trump Organization’s Westchester County golf course and a nearby town in 2011, the organization used a wildly inflated claim to score an insurance payout of nearly $1.3 million, pulling in far more than what it spent to repair the course. The previously unreported insurance claim at Trump National Golf Club in the Village of Briarcliff Manor far outstripped the cost to repair the damages, which were about $130,000 to $150,000.
The former employee backed up the statement with a first-hand account:
The work was never completed. They basically band-aided it.
The ironic part is, the fraudulent claim might never have been discovered if it weren’t for a previous potential act of fraud. The New York Times reported that the investigation which led to the discovery of the insurance claim was focused on whether Trump had lied about the value of the property in order to avoid paying the proper amount of taxes on it.
In fact, the Times report says, the Trump Organization began to view property insurance as a source of income, regularly inflating the value of properties in order to get huge payouts — sometimes $2 for every $1 spent on insurance — from damage claims they filed.
Sounds like the water damage at Briarcliff may be nothing compared to the hot water Trump finds himself in now.
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