Timeline of the Trump Casino Money Laundering Saga
|1991||First Reported Violations by Trump’s Taj Mahal|
|1998||Treasury Department Issued a $477,000 Fine|
|2009||Donald Trump Leaving Atlantic City|
|2010 to 2012||Knowingly Violating the Bank Secrecy Act|
|2015||FinCEN Issued a $10m Fine for Trump Taj Mahal|
Trump Taj Mahal During Donald’s Reign
In April 1990, the real-estate mogul, Donald Trump opened his third casino – Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. Then, the 42-story building was the tallest in New Jersey and the world’s largest casino. However, the scandals surrounding money laundering and Russian ties may have affected some politicians’ decisions regarding Trump’s impeachment trial.
First Time Breaking Anti-Money Laundering Rules
Opened in 1990, The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort was dubbed as the eighth wonder of the world by some. However, by the end of 1991, the casino filed for bankruptcy and broke anti-money laundering (AML) rules. The businessman had to sell 50% of his stakes to bondholders save his latest venture.
CNN reported that the Trump money laundering casino knowingly and repeatedly violated 106 times AML regulations during its first year of operations. Furthermore, during these harsh times, the brick-and-mortar operator has been a preferred place for Russian mobsters who would bet large sums of cash according to FBI agents.
The Half a Million US Dollar Fine
After the first couple of turbulent years of the casino, things went south once again in the late 90s. In Jan 1998, the US Treasury Department imposed a $477,000.00 fine to Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. The official settlement states that with the combined forces of FinCEN and IRS, the government has found evidence of money laundering at the establishment.
While Trump Taj Mahal denies any wrongdoing, the company agreed to pay the civil money penalty. This whole fiasco was reported by the news when it happened. Associated Press (AP) pointed out that this was the biggest fine issued by the federal government to a casino for breaking the Bank Secrecy Act.
Leaving Atlantic City for Good
The 2008 global financial crisis was one of the most destructive events from the early 2000s. Many businesses did not survive long after it, including Trump’s casinos. In 2009, the real-estate mogul filed for bankruptcy for the fourth time. He even wanted to buy all the casinos with his name but was denied the opportunity and shortly after departed Atlantic City.
However, at the time, the businessman still owned a small stake in the parent company of Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. To this day, the 45th president of the US claims that he left the city at the right time. We suggest you read our article about Trump’s reign in Atlantic City if you would like to learn more.
The Eighth Wonder of The World Under New Management
After, Mr Trump’s departure from Atlantic City, billionaire philanthropist Carl Icahn took over Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. The new owner of the so-called eight wonder of the world is the founder of Icahn Enterprises. He previously invested in the venture, and after the acquisition, he landed a deal to continue operating under the Trump brand.
Breaking the Bank Secrecy Act
In the 2015 court settlement, released to the public, it is indicated that between 2010 and 2012 the brick-and-mortal casino knowingly broke the Bank Secrecy Act. Also, the document states that Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort admitted to the following charges money laundering activities as well as unlawful reporting and recordkeeping.
What the IRS and FinCEN found was that currency transaction reports and records were not filed properly nor according to the BSA requirements. Furthermore, the operator did not report suspicious transactions. Finally, it is said that the casino laundered funds by using the slot machine tickets.
Legendary 10 Million Dollar Fine
Once again, in 2015, the federal government imposed a civil money penalty to the Trump money laundering casino. The Director or FinCEN, Jennifer Shasky Calvery, reportedly said that the enterprise had received many warnings before this. Despite that, the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort failed to comply with the law and was slapped with the legendary fine of $10 million.
This penalty resulted in the end of Trump Taj Mahal, and in late 2016 it closed for the last time. AP news reported in an interview with Mr Icahn that he has lost millions on this disastrous venture. Currently, the building is home to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
Casino Money Laundering – Recap
For the 25 years that Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort operated, it was surrounded by scandals and a series of unfortunate events. From the very beginning things were not meant to be. However, the real-estate mogul found a not so legal way to keep the business afloat. Then, the 1998 court settlement brought negative publicity.
Next was the financial crisis and Trump’s cue to leave the city. The last nail in the coffin was the $10 million fine from 2015. But hey, there are plenty of other successful and legitimate casinos in the land of the brave and free. If you would like to learn more about that, we suggest you check out the Top Online Casinos for US Gamblers.
Frequently Asked Questions
This whole Trump money laundering casino saga has continued for over two consecutive decades. So, gather around because the time has come for us to address some of the popular things people ask regarding the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. Find the frequently asked questions and their answers below.