Donald Trump has long been known as a savvy and successful businessman making billions of dollars through the years from various ventures. The owner of Atlantic City Casino’s and fabulous skyscrapers across New York the often out spoken entrepreneur is now campaigning for the 2016 Presidential election. But with his candidacy comes questions as to how he made his billion dollar fortune and any help he may have had along the way. For decades now there have been allegations that Trump’s empire has had a darker side.
For the past decade there have been allegations of links between Donald Trump and the mafia including both New York and Philadelphia crime families. These possible mob links have been the focus of past news paper reports along with government records. According to some including NY investigative journalist Wayne Barrett the connections between Trump and the mafia are rather extensive. In his book “Trump: The Deals and the Downfall by Barrett, Wayne 1st edition (1992) Hardcover,” he claims that Trump went out his way not to avoid but increase ties with organized crime influence in the New York and New Jersey construction industry in the 80’s and 90’s.
According to records Trump Plaza the Atlantic City Casino built by Trump sits on land purchased from former Philadelphia mobster Salvatore Testa. Barrett notes in his book that the property was purchased by Testa in 1977 for a scant $195,000 and was then sold to Trump in 1982 for a whopping $1.1 million. The purchase of the property at a rate of $220 per square foot was second most expensive purchases Donald made on the block even though it was one of the first purchased writes Barrett. A 1986 New Jersey organized crime report also notes that the casino was built with help of two construction companies controlled by Philadelphia mobsters Nicademo “Little Nicky” Scarfo and Phillip “Crazy Phil” Leonetti.
Trump Plaza condos in Manhattan were built with use of a concrete company S&A which federal court records show was controlled by New York mafia bosses Paul Castellano and Anthony Salerno. Barrett notes in his book that the Trump Towers was built out of concrete instead of steel during a time when the New York mob had control of the majority of the cities concrete industry. During the time when the Trump Tower was built it was nearly impossible for any developer to avoid doing business with the mafia controlled concrete cartel but according to Barrett Trump may have taken the relationship further then he had to.
Trump was part of a 1979 bribery investigation and then a 1981 racketeering probe neither of which led to any kind of charges according to records. None of the possible links between Donald Trump and the mob have ever been substantiated past their basic business ties by law enforcement or anyone else to date. There is no doubt that much of the time Trump did business in the construction industry in both New York and New Jersey that contact with mob controlled companies was almost unavoidable. But it is certain that as Trump’s run to become President of the United States in the 2016 election becomes more extensive so will the scrutiny of these allegations.