Donald Trump spent more than 20 years in the Atlantic City casino business, employing 1000s of local residents and generating millions in tax income for the state. Dating right back to the early 1980s when he first entered the resort industry, Trump operated and owned three casinos on the Boardwalk in what was then considered the gambling mecca associated with East Coast.
In 1990, Donald Trump went all-in on Atlantic City, but today his business dealings are being criticized by some who hold the billionaire partially responsible for the gambling destination’s dismal current fiscal state. (Image: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)
Fast-forward to 2016, and the Republican frontrunner for the presidential general election is now dealing with backlash, not only for the ultimate fate of their Atlantic City casinos, but also for exactly what role he perhaps played in the area’s current and downturn that is ongoing.
A former 2016 GOP candidate who has since endorsed Trump, defended the billionaire on Tuesday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
‘He is a honorable individual, and I don’t think he’s ever been an office-holder in Atlantic City,’ Christie told reporters. ‘ I do not remember Donald being mayor,’ he added, an obvious dig at current AC Mayor Don Guardian, for whom the Governor has no love lost.
Trump Taj Mahal Junk Bonds
Criticism of Trump’s Atlantic City record primarily deals with just how he funded construction of this Trump Taj Mahal. In 1987, Resorts Overseas was in the process of building the casino hotel when its owner James Crosby died during the age of 58, due to problems of severe emphysema.
Crosby’s heirs didn’t feel adequately skilled to see the task to completion, and finally sold the stake that is controlling of to Trump for $79 million. He promised local officials that the construction will be finished through standard bank loans, plus the Casino Control Commission approved the project. However, the banks got feet that are cold and Trump eventually raised capital through junk bonds with high interest rates.
The interest on the mammoth project led to Trump defaulting on payments just 15 months later on and filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy security.
Trump was repeatedly forced to guard his time in Atlantic City. During the first Republican debate in early August, he said his use of bankruptcy laws is something many businesspersons do at some point, and that sticking the bill to the junk bondholders was not a big deal.
‘These lenders are not babies,’ Trump said on August 6. ‘These are total killers. These are perhaps not the nice, sweet little people.’
While Trump had the ‘good sense’ (by his account that is own leave Atlantic City eight years ago, the town itself has struggled ever since. Decreasing gaming revenues and property values has developed a shortfall in fees being paid to the town, but Christie believes outlandish spending on the element of neighborhood government has not been reigned in properly.
The governor in their second term has threatened to veto any Atlantic City relief bill which comes to his desk that doesn’t also hand over responsibility that is fiscal the state federal government.
Christie is at odds with State Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D), who would like to impose the PILOT (payment instead of taxes) program to enable struggling casinos to pay a fee that is fixed the town, as opposed to taxes.
Some type of action needs to be taken.
‘ If all you see are headlines that Atlantic City is out of money, individuals may draw a lot of wrong conclusions from that,’ Christie explained. ‘It can affect tourism not only to Atlantic City but to all or any of south Jersey.’
Reno Sparks Nugget Fined $1 Million for Lax Money-Laundering Controls
The Sparks Nugget in northern Nevada happens to be fined $1 million for ‘systematic and egregious’ violation of its anti-money laundering (AML) laws, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said this week.
Michonne Ascuaga, who presided over the Reno Sparks Nugget if the violations took place. She voluntarily resigned from the Nevada Gaming Commission in over the scandal february. (Image: Jeff Scheid/reviewjournal.com)
The violations happened although the casino had been under the management of former Nevada Gaming Commissioner Michonne Ascuaga, who had been forced to resign from the commission board in when news of investigation went public february.
The Ascuaga family went the Nugget for over 50 years, before it ended up being sold to investment that is private Wofhound Holdings in 2013. None of the research’s findings relate to the management of the casino under its new owners.
Systematic Breakdown of Compliance
FinCEN, a branch for the Treasury Department, said that the Sparks Nugget willfully chose not to file activity that is suspicious (SARs) and Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs), an oversight that was in violation of the anti-money laundering provisions regarding the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).
The casino also instructed its conformity officer maybe not to connect with the IRS’ Bank Secrecy Act auditors, while a management committee established to determine whether to file SARs ‘never held a single meeting.’
The government agency said that the Nugget was guilty of hundreds of accounting violations and AML compliance failures. Since the passage of the BSA in 1970, and then the amount of money Laundering Control Act in 1986, all US financial institutions are obligated to register a CTR to FinCEN for any transaction over $10,000, as well as to report any seemingly dubious transactions.
BSA eliminated an individual’s directly to privacy that is financial declaring that a financial institution would not be held accountable for declaring economic transactions to your authorities.
‘Sparks Nugget possessed a systemic breakdown in its conformity program,’ said FinCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery in a statement. ‘Despite the fact it hosted convicted embezzlers and had been over repeatedly alerted to suspicious transactions by its[BSA that is own supervisor, Sparks saw no need to re-think its (AML) defenses.’
Ascuaga-Wolfhound Case Dismissed
Information of the FinCEN investigation first came to light in court documents in February, as an ingredient of judicial proceedings brought by the Ascuaga family members against the owners that are new. The Ascuagas reported they were owed $500,000 under the purchase and sale contract of the Nugget to Wolfhound, but that situation had been dismissed by way of a judge this week, coincidentally on the same day that FinCEN made its announcement.
Ascuaga, who had been appointed to the Nevada Gaming Commission board by Governor Brian Sandoval ten months before her resignation, claimed she ‘did not purposely hold back information through the governor,’ whoever office had been unacquainted with the investigation.
She was resigning, she said, ‘out of deep respect for the Nevada Gaming Commission and not to enable myself to be a distraction that is unnecessary the essential regulatory oversight work it does.’
Philippine Casinos Targeted by Government Officials Trying to Recoup Stolen Money Related to New York Fed Heist
The Solaire is one of two Philippine casinos involved in an effective $81 million heist, and government officials are racing to find and clean up the money that is dirty to be in possession of numerous individuals and entities. (Image: forbes.com)
Two casinos that are philippine their parent companies are being targeted by government leaders trying to recoup the $81 million in stolen funds hackers swindled in February from the banking account held by Bangladesh at this new York Federal Reserve in Manhattan.
A total of $101 million was successfully withdrawn though $20 million was recovered by Bangladesh’s central bank.
Philippine’s Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is likely to quickly file a case contrary to the Solaire Resort & Casino and Midas Hotel & Casino for their reported roles in launching dirty money into the country.
Once the AMLC paperwork is completed, the Philippine government could seize assets associated with the casinos should illegitimate money be discovered. The parent companies associated with the resorts could contest the AMLC actions should they be able to prove that the laundered money was presented by clean sources and junket operators who’ve long operated at the casinos.
The $81 million heist goes back to February that is early a lot more than two months later on detectives are still wanting to patch together just how the theft took destination.
Casino junket operator Kim Wong, thought to be certainly one of the orchestrators of the heist, has adamantly denied those allegations. Instead, Wong claims he received notification from the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) on February 5 saying that a massive amount money was being deposited into his accounts associated with his junket operations.
Wong testified before the Senate that is philippine that accounts received some $21.5 million from two foreign clients, who in change laundered the cash by gambling along with a network of at the least 19 people. Wong claims he did not understand the money was dirty and thought the high rollers had been simply millionaire investors.
Wong came back the staying $5.46 million still in his possession to the AMLC the other day. Detectives believe $63 million of the total $81 million had been channeled through the Solaire and Midas gambling enterprises via junket operators while an outstanding $17 million continues to be unaccounted.
AMLC officials suspect payment remittance processor Philrem Service Corp. might be in charge of the $17 million, but the company denies such claims.
Philippine officials may also be urging the 2 casinos to return monies they’re holding for the suspected thieves and return any profits stemming from the heist.
Though Wong handed over a lot more than $5 million week that is last Bangladesh still hasn’t received a cent, or should we say taka.
‘The turnover will need a short amount of time, but our company is using AMLC for expediting the procedure,’ Bangladesh Ambassador to your Philippines John Gomes told Filipino news supply Rappler this week.
Wong states he will pay another $9.75 million nevertheless in their possession in the next 15 to 30 says. The Philippine junket operator is seemingly trying to clean his hands of this dirty money, but it stays to be observed if he had been just caught within the middle of a multimillion-dollar illegal procedure, or if he was in cahoots with the criminal hackers.
Untangling the complicated crime that is international progressing gradually, and it will likely be many others months before the complete revelation into how a scheme operated is fully understood.
Panama Papers Asia Connection Reflects Double Standard on Macau Anti-Corruption Measures
The Panama Papers continue to prove that the fish rots from the head down. Asia’s alleged drive that is anti-corruption delivered the revenues of Macau tumbling for 22 consecutive months, but now the most recent revelations could send China’s ruling Communist elite as a tailspin.
Panama Papers outs Chinese Communist leaders: President Xi Jinping’s brother-in-law ended up being named within the papers that are controversial. In all, eight top politicians that are chinese been implicated, causing blackout attempts by officials on Western news coverage. (Image: davidComurren.co.uk)
The scandal is really so threatening to its ‘do when I say, not as I do’ stance that Beijing moved this week to block Western news outlets’ coverage of the leaked Mossack Fonseca Panama lawyer database.
In particular, any references to companies owned in offshore tax havens by the leaders that are chinese being censored.
Politburo Hides Wealth
The Panama Papers unveil that relatives of eight of Asia’s top politicians have used overseas companies to hide wide range, including three of the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee, the country’s most body that is powerful.
The list includes President Xi’s brother-in-law, the daughter-in-law of propaganda chief Liu Yunshan, as well as the son-in-law of vice-premier Zhang Gaoli.
Xi’s much-publicized anti-corruption crackdown was launched amid warnings that the theft of public funds by corrupt Communist Party officials, problem that had become endemic, could destroy the Party through the inside out.
Censorship in Overdrive
Most VIP high rollers through the mainland were actually crooked Communist Party officials playing with stolen general public monies. These VIPs once accounted for 60 % of Macau’s profits, and Beijing’s squeeze on the junket industry, which introduced these players en masse, hit the gaming region’s bottom line badly.
Now the Panama Papers threaten to undermine Xi’s anti-corruption crackdown, and the nation’s censors have actually gone into overdrive, blocking usage of sites that might carry the news that is damaging.
‘we think there exists a fear and a sensitivity among Communist celebration leaders that this reveals the degree to that your political and elite that is economic therefore closely intertwined and to date above your average citizen in regards to wide range,’ Sarah Cook, a China specialist from the Freedom House advocacy team, told the UK’s Guardian this week.
‘This kind of blows a big hole in that work because it exposes how a top political leaders and their families are, at the minimum, super, super rich; even when this money was in fact acquired legally, which of course is a large question mark aswell,’ she said.