He wanted to fire the Trump Organization, which has managed the hotel since it opened in 2011.
But the Trump Organization has refused to leave.
Since that first confrontation, police have been called multiple times to referee disputes between owner Orestes Fintiklis — who blames the company’s poor management and damaged brand for the hotel’s declining revenue — and the Trump Organization, which says it still has a valid contract to manage the place.
Offices have been barricaded. Several yelling matches have broken out. The power was briefly turned off, in a dispute over the building’s electronic equipment. At one point, Fintiklis — denied a chance to fire the hotel staff or even check into a room — played a tune on the hotel’s lobby piano as an apparent show of defiance.
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April 26, 2016: 5:49 PM ET
The slug-fest between Donald Trump and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over Trump University continues.
On Tuesday, a New York court ruled that Schneiderman’s $40 million civil suit alleging fraud against Trump University would still have to go to trial, even though Schneiderman had asked the court for a ruling based on the evidence already presented.
No date has been set for a trial. But according to a statement from Schneiderman, the judge “indicated her intention to move as expeditiously as possible.”
A spokesman for Schneiderman’s office said the trial could take place as early as this fall. If so, that timing could prove tricky for Trump should he be chosen as the GOP’s presidential nominee.
The Trump camp was happy with the court’s decision Tuesday.
“We are extremely pleased that the Supreme Court has yet again rejected the Attorney General’s attempt to avoid a trial.” said Alan Garten, an attorney for Trump.
The denial of Schneiderman’s request for summary judgment came after a New York court rejected the arguments of Donald Trump’s lawyers that Schneiderman’s fraud case should be tossed out.
Trump University, launched in 2005, was a real estate seminar business that promised to teach students the mogul’s investing techniques to get rich on real estate. The business, which has effectively been defunct for several years, is currently facing three lawsuits filed by and on behalf of former students who claim it was a fraud.
Schneiderman’s suit, filed in 2013, accuses Trump University of deceptive business practices, alleging that its advertisements made false claims, including that Trump handpicked the instructors and that consumers who took the seminars would receive access to private sources of financing — i.e., “hard money lenders.”
“It was a classic bait-and-switch scheme,” Schneiderman told CNN.
–CNN’s Drew Griffin contributed to this report.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has downplayed his connection to a reputed mob figure, whose daughter said gambled millions at Trump’s casino, partied on the billionaire mogul’s yacht and flew in his helicopter, Yahoo News reported.
However, Trump’s casino was fined $200,000 by the state of New Jersey Casino Control Commission after an investigation by the state attorney general’s office found that Trump Plaza in Atlantic City violated anti-discrimination laws to please high roller Robert LiButti — who was reported to have close ties to mafia boss John Gotti.
After the incident in 1991, Trump told the media he didn’t really know LiButti. However, LiButti’s daughter, Edith Creamer, told Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff that was not the case.
“He’s a liar,” Creamer told Yahoo. “Of course he knew him. I flew in the [Trump] helicopter with [Trump’s then wife] Ivana and the kids. My dad flew it up and down [to Atlantic City]. My 35th birthday party was at the Plaza and Donald was there. After the party, we went on his boat, his big yacht. I like Trump, but it pisses me off that he denies knowing my father. That hurts me.”
Trump told Yahoo News in a written response, “During the years I very successfully ran the casino business, I knew many high rollers. I assume Mr. LiButti was one of them, but I don’t recognize the name.”
The report comes as Trump is fending off calls to release his tax returns. Trump’s leading GOP opponent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, said Trump might be trying to hide evidence of mafia connections in the tax returns.
Trump was not held personally liable for the discrimination charges against his casino, nor did state officials ever question him personally about the matter.
Yahoo News describes the casino investigation:
At the time, New Jersey state regulators had launched an investigation into allegations by nine employees of one of Trump’s Atlantic City casinos, the Trump Plaza, that the hotel had repeatedly removed African-Americans and women from craps tables after LiButti, one of the highest-rolling gamblers in the city’s history, loudly complained about their presence when he was playing.
The probe resulted in a $200,000 fine against the Trump Plaza by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission for violating state anti-discrimination laws. Investigators found that LiButti had, on multiple occasions, berated blacks and women using what one state official described as the “vilest” language — including racist slurs and references to women in obscene terms — and that the Trump Plaza, in order not to lose his substantial business, sought to accommodate him by keeping the employees away from his betting tables, according to commission documents recently obtained by Yahoo News under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act.
Cramer’s account of direct dealings between her father and Trump corroborate a 1991 book, “Trumped: The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump, His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall,” written by John R. Donnell, former president of the Trump Plaza casino. The book also talks about a meeting between Trump and LiButti aboard Trump’s helicopter and claims Trump agreed to pay $500,000 for a racehorse named Alibi from LiButti, a horse breeder.
Sourced From – http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2016/03/07/report-accusations-of-trumps-ties-to-mafia-associate-gain-steam-as-candidate-withholds-taxes/
WASHINGTON – Donald Trump tapped a man to be a senior business adviser to his real-estate empire even after the man’s past involvement in a major mafia-linked stock fraud scheme had become publicly known, according to Associated Press interviews and a review of court records.
Portions of Trump’s relationship with Felix Sater, a convicted felon and government informant, have been previously known. Trump worked with the company where Sater was an executive, Bayrock Group LLC, after it rented office space from the Trump Organization as early as 2003. Sater’s criminal history was effectively unknown to the public at the time, because a judge kept the relevant court records secret and Sater altered his name.
When Sater’s criminal past and mafia links came to light in 2007, Trump distanced himself from Sater.
But less than three years later, Trump renewed his ties with Sater. Sater presented business cards describing himself as a senior adviser to Donald Trump, and he had an office on the same floor as Trump’s own office in New York’s Trump Tower, The Associated Press learned through interviews and court records.
Trump said during an AP interview on Wednesday that he recalled only bare details of Sater.
“Felix Sater, boy, I have to even think about it,” Trump said, referring questions about Sater to his staff. “I’m not that familiar with him.”
According to Trump lawyer Alan Garten, Sater’s role was to prospect for high-end real estate deals for the Trump Organization. The arrangement lasted six months, Garten said.
The revelation about Sater’s role is significant because of its timing and directness, and marks the first time the Trump Organization has acknowledged publicly that Sater worked for Trump after the disclosures of Sater’s criminal background. Trump has said that among his secrets of success is that he surrounds himself with the “best and most serious people” and with “people you can trust.”
Sater never had an employment agreement or formal contract with the Trump Organization and did not close any deals for Trump, Garten said.
“He was trying to restart his life,” Garten said. “I believe he was regretful of things that happened in the past.”
Trump did not know the details of Sater’s cooperation with the government when Sater came in-house in 2010, Garten said. But Garten noted that U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch praised Sater’s cooperation with the federal government, when senators asked about him during her confirmation hearings early this year. She said Sater cooperated against his mafia stock fraud co-defendants and assisted the government on unspecified national security matters.
“If Mr. Sater was good enough for the government to work with, I see no reason why he wasn’t good enough for Mr. Trump,” Garten said.
He pleaded guilty in 1998 to one count of racketeering for his role in a $40 million stock fraud scheme involving the prominent Genovese and Bonanno crime families, according to court records. Prosecutors called the operation a pump-and-dump scheme, in which insiders manipulate the price of obscure stocks and then sell them to hapless investors at inflated prices. Five years earlier, a New York State court had sentenced Sater to more than a year in prison for stabbing a man in the face with a broken margarita glass.
Sater declined to discuss his work with Trump.
“Obviously a Donald-and-the-bad-guy piece is not interesting for me to participate in,” Sater wrote in an email to AP. His lawyer, Robert Wolf, said information about Sater in public records and lawsuits obtained by the AP was defamatory. He credited Sater’s stint as a government cooperator with potentially saving American military lives, although he did not provide details. Wolf told the AP to write about Sater’s past “at your own risk” but did not cite specific concerns.
After his 1998 racketeering conviction, Sater spent more than a decade as an informant on the mafia and on national security-related matters. Federal prosecutors kept even the existence of Sater’s racketeering case out of publicly available court records for 14 years.
During that time, Sater launched a luxury real estate development career. Sealed court records prevented potential customers or partners from learning about his past association with organized crime. Sater altered his name, to Satter, and became a top executive in Bayrock, a development firm that partnered with Trump on the Trump Soho high-rise hotel in Manhattan and other branded luxury real estate deals.
Civil lawsuits have alleged that Bayrock engaged in a pattern of misconduct during Sater’s tenure, sometimes involving potential Trump projects. Bayrock’s attorney told AP the firm did not mislead anyone about Sater’s past and denied any misconduct.
The firm has not yet responded to a version of the complaint refiled in U.S. court last month.
Trump’s lawyer, Garten, said Trump had no knowledge of alleged improprieties at Bayrock or reason to believe that Sater was a major stakeholder in Bayrock’s projects. Trump only learned of Sater’s troubled past when The New York Times reported details in December 2007. In the article, Trump distanced himself from Sater, saying: “I didn’t really know him very well.”
Garten said Trump had no further interactions with Sater at Bayrock following the revelations of his criminal history. But a new relationship was formed in 2010 when Trump offered Sater office space and a chance to round up new business possibilities for the Trump Organization.
“The guy’s been in business a long time, he’s got a lot of contacts,” Garten said of Sater.