If you’ve ever had to buy or sell a home, you know the importance of searching out any possible liens against the property. Which certainly makes buying anything from Trump problematic.
In addition to the lawsuits, the review found more than 200 mechanic’s liens — filed by contractors and employees against Trump, his companies or his properties claiming they were owed money for their work — since the 1980s. … On just one project, Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, records released by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission in 1990 show that at least 253 subcontractors weren’t paid in full or on time, including workers who installed walls, chandeliers and plumbing.
What excuse did Trump provide? He “wasn’t happy with the work.” In fact, he’s not happy with the work a lot.
“Let’s say that they do a job that’s not good, or a job that they didn’t finish, or a job that was way late. I’ll deduct from their contract, absolutely,” Trump said. “That’s what the country should be doing.”
In almost any construction contract, there are detailed goals to be met and defined penalties for not meeting those goals. But Trump isn’t following the contracts, he’s ignoring them. It doesn’t matter how good a job you actually did, because Trump is not going to pay what he agreed to pay.
"Part of how he did business as a philosophy was to negotiate the best price he could," O'Connell said. "And then when it came time to pay the bills," Trump would say "'I’m going to pay you but I’m going to pay you 75% of what we agreed to.'"
The people contacted to do this kind of work are often required to put their own funds into material costs and paying workers well before the day when the job is complete and they can collect the money to cover their investment. Trump knows this. And he knows he can put the squeeze on them. After all, they have bills to pay, and he has lawyers. Lawyers he doesn’t bother to pay.
The string of people left in the lurch is endless.
“If they do a good job, I won’t cut them at all,” Mr. Trump said of businesses he contracts with, saying “it’s probably 1,000 to one where I pay.” He said he occasionally won’t pay fully when work is simply satisfactory or “an OK to bad job…If it’s OK, then I’ll sometimes cut them.” In dealing with public projects such as bridge-building, he said, “that should be the attitude of the country.”
He won’t pay if the job is “simply satisfactory.” He won’t pay when a job is “OK.” In other words, he doesn’t pay when some does the job they were contracted to do. Trump has even used his leverage to send sherriff deputies to a contract and take material he hadn’t paid for.
Trump simply determines that he has small contractors in a bind and decides to stiff them. It’s a calculated, cold, and cruel move that has forced some of his contractors into liquidation. Going with them? American jobs.
… Mr. Trump’s withholding of payments stood out as particularly aggressive in the industry and in the broader business world, said some vendors who had trouble getting paid.
It is “a strong-arm tactic that is frowned on,” said Wayne Rivers, a small-business consultant in construction. The tactic is more common in Northeast construction than in other regions, he said, and is abnormal in much of American business.
What about Trump's buddies in the concrete industry?
Trump was first tied to the mafia in the 1980s, when a $7.8 million subcontract for Trump Plaza was awarded to S&A Concrete, according to Fortune. The company, as Cruz correctly says, was partially owned by Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno, the boss of the Genovese crime family.
You can bet that they get paid on time.
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