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Donald Trump’s Long History of Controversial Business Practices Has Been Terrible for Nevada

Las Vegas, NV – This week, the Las Vegas Sun ran a story exposing Donald Trump’s lengthy history of controversial business practices in Nevada, from stiffing a curtain vendor to refusing to negotiate a union contract with his hotel workers to scamming Nevadans through Trump University. Donald’s local involvement over the years has brought nothing but trouble and pain for businesses, workers, and their families.

Trump used aggressive investor tactics with two attempted takeovers of Nevada gaming companies in order to line his own pockets.

  • Las Vegas Sun: “Though Trump denied the allegations in an ensuing lawsuit, the two incidents led the chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission in 1986 to accuse him of being a “greenmailer.” The term describes an investor who acquires enough stock to threaten a hostile takeover, forcing the company to purchase back the stock, often at a premium.”
  • Las Vegas Sun: “In December 1986, the Federal Trade Commission said it was looking into the two stock activities by Trump and his broker Bear Stearns for violating an antitrust disclosure requirement. Trump strongly denied the allegation, but he paid a $750,000 settlement two years later…”

Trump University scammed Nevadans out of nearly $1 million with deceptive claims and fraudulent seminars.

  • Las Vegas Sun: “From its inception, Trump University was active in Nevada, according to sales data released in the course of litigation. An analysis of that data shows that between 2005 and 2010, at least 140 residents purchased roughly 185 Trump University products worth about $900,000.”
  • Las Vegas Sun: “Through 2010, more than 100 Nevadans paid $5,000 to $34,995 on various offerings… One Nevada ad in court records, for an August 2009 workshop, bills it as a chance to ‘learn from Donald Trump’s handpicked experts how you can profit from the largest real estate liquidation in history.’” 

Trump passed over American manufacturers to choose Chinese steel to build the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas.

  • Las Vegas Sun: “During the second debate against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, Trump vowed to take on China for “killing our steel workers and our steel companies,” though Newsweek uncovered government documents showing that Trump Ruffin purchased Chinese steel and metal for the Las Vegas project.”
  • Newsweek: “Of Trump’s last three construction projects, the first to use Chinese steel was Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, which opened in 2008. That the manufacturer is from China is not immediately evident; this fact is hidden within a chain of various corporate entities, including holding companies registered in the British Virgin Islands.” 

Trump brought his knack for stiffing small businesses and contractors to Las Vegas, helping force a local drapery factory to shutter after it didn’t receive full payment for work at Trump’s hotel.

  • Las Vegas Sun: “One involved a Las Vegas curtain-factory owner, Larry Walters, who stopped work and filed a lien against the property in 2008, claiming that the developers wouldn’t pay $548,020, including additional work and an unpaid portion of the original $702,958 contract. The incident, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, escalated when the developer Trump Ruffin — controlled by Trump and Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin — sued Walters and persuaded a court to instruct sheriff’s deputies to seize the fabric Walters had been holding as leverage in the dispute.”
  • Wall Street Journal: “Mr. Walters settled in 2008 for $185,000, court records show, collecting $823,000 in total before legal fees. In 2011, he closed the business, blaming the economic slump and Mr. Trump.” 

Trump refuses to negotiate with workers who voted to unionize at his Las Vegas hotel, claiming their vote was “rigged.” (Sound familiar?)

  • Las Vegas Sun: “On the stump, Trump has said he has a good relationship with unions, but in Las Vegas, management at Trump Ruffin remains locked in a dispute with the state’s most powerful one. Even after Trump International’s management exhausted appeals with federal labor regulators over the certification of a housekeeper union at the hotel, executives for the property have yet to come to the bargaining table. “Right now, the hotel is operating illegally,” said Bethany Khan, a spokesperson for the Culinary Workers Union.”
  • Los Angeles Times: “In December [2015], nearly 500 workers at the Trump International voted in favor of joining the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165. Yet Trump and managers at the hotel have refused to negotiate, assailing the vote as rigged.”
  • Huffington Post: “According to Labor Department disclosure forms reviewed by The Huffington Post, Trump Ruffin shelled out more than half a million dollars last year to a consulting firm that combats union organizing efforts.”