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Trump's taxes turn a spotlight on Ivanka's own shady business dealings

Donald Trump’s tax returns show he wrote off at least $750,000 in potentially illegal ‘consulting’ payments to Ivanka.

By Daniel Boguslaw - September 29, 2020
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Ivanka Trump

White House adviser and first daughter Ivanka Trump was recently implicated in a massive New York Times report detailing Donald Trump’s tax returns and the minuscule $750 he payed in federal income tax.

Ivanka was specifically accused of illegally receiving nearly $750,000 in payments from her father that he was able to write off as “consulting” fees.

Ivanka’s newly disclosed role in her father’s efforts to evade federal income tax are the latest in a line of legal and ethical woes for the first daughter and former Trump Organization executive.

Both she and her husband, senior white house adviser Jared Kushner, have in fact been caught up in a number of scandals over the past handful of years alone.

Real estate fraud

In 2010, the Major Economic Crimes Bureau of New York’s district attorney’s office opened an investigation into Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. regarding fraudulent claims they made to perspective buyers of units in the failing Trump SoHo building. The D.A. ultimately threw out the case after being visited by Trump’s high powered lawyer Marc Kasowitz, who later bragged, “It was amazing I got them off.”

Inauguration price gouging

After Trump was sworn into office, another suit was filed by Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine naming Ivanka and claiming that she and others were aware of efforts by the Trump Organization to overcharge the nonprofit presidential inaugural committee for use of Trump-branded spaces. The civil suit claimed the overages “were unreasonable and improperly served to enrich” the Trump family business.

The inaugural committee has since attempted to get the suit thrown out. In September, however, D.C. Superior Court Judge José López blocked that attempt, ruling that the lawsuit could move forward. The D.C. attorney general, the judge ruled, had “sufficiently alleged that Defendant PIC is continuing to act in a prohibited manner.”

Copyright infringement

Over the past decade, Ivanka has faced numerous copyright infringement claims regarding her alleged pilfering of designs from top brands and passing them off as her own. In 2017, her footwear company settled with designer Aquazzura for an undisclosed amount, and in 2012 she was the target of a similar claim for producing two nearly identical pairs of sandals manufactured by Mystique. In 2018 she settled with Unicolors over allegations that their patterns were used for one of her designer coats.

Pyramid schemes

Ivanka was named as defendant in a lawsuit targeting the American Communications Network in October 2018. The complaint accused her, her two brothers, and a Trump organization affiliate of defrauding participants out of hundreds of dollars for the chance to sell consumer electronics, as part of a multi-level marketing scheme.

While the Trumps attempted to move the suit to arbitration, a judge ultimately ruled the case could proceed in court on the grounds of fraud, false advertising, and unfair competition.

Financial disclosure omissions

In 2017, both Kushner and Ivanka were targeted by a suit alleging that they had failed to disclose financial assets which Kushner alleged were protected under preexisting confidentiality agreements. Thirty investment funds and two investment vehicles were left out of the couple’s required forms according to the suit.

Trump Foundation

In 2018, Ivanka and her brothers, along with her father, were named in a lawsuit filed by the New York attorney general that accused them of misusing their namesake charitable foundation “as an extension of their businesses and the campaign,” according to the Times. The suit claimed the Trump family and their associates funneled charitable money collected by the foundation toward campaign efforts, personal purchases, and used the funds to settle legal disputes involving the Trump Organization.

In December that year, the foundation was forced to dissolve and give away any remaining assets. In 2019, the two sides reached an agreement, with Donald Trump forced to pay $2 million to eight separate charities as part of the settlement. Ivanka and her brothers were also forced to attend mandatory training “to ensure they do not engage in similar misconduct in the future,” the Times reported.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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