Never underestimate the power of a Google Search.
On Tuesday, the New York Times posted an investigation that opened the complicated, and legally dubious, the financial history of the Trump ’s family. It showed that Donald Trump is not a self-made billionaire as he claims and that he and his siblings received more than $1 billion from the real power broker of the family, Fred Trump, Donald’s father.
In another article, the New York Times showed how its journalists exposed the truth. One of the reporters named Susanne Craig told a very interesting detail about the role of a simple Google search in unearthing one of the biggest scoops of the story.
Getting to know the purpose and the existence of All County Building Supply & Maintenance were key to learning how Fred Trump passed huge financial gifts to his children, tax-free. And it turns out that the thread the reporters pulled on to uncover All-County the most fraudulent aspect of the (Fred) Trump empire by Googling it.
A central finding of the story began to emerge in April 2017, when Ms. Craig had been Google searching an arcane term the group was interested in — “mortgage receivable,” which the Trumps used to describe the mortgages from the children to Fred — paired with the last name “Trump.” She found the disclosure form that the president’s sister Maryanne, a federal judge, had filed related to her Senate confirmation hearing.
Unlike the many she filed during her years on the bench, this one was not redacted.
In that document, Ms. Craig noticed a $1 million contribution from an obscure family-owned company: All County Building Supply & Maintenance.
What the heck?’” Ms. Craig remembered thinking. “That was the first inkling we had that, hey, there’s something to do with this company that we need to figure out.
The Trump family created All-County as a way to pass money from father to children without getting noticed by IRS. Fred Trump essentially paid inflated maintenance costs for his buildings to All-County, which then paid the legitimate costs to vendors and repairmen. All County’s owners, the Trump children, kept the extra cash. Even worse? Fred Trump used the higher costs to justify raising rents.
A simple Google search helped the reporters to find the explosive and potentially illegal and true purpose of the company. So, never underestimate the power of a Google Search!
[Source: NY Times]