President Donald Trump’s niece filed a lawsuit on Thursday in the Supreme Court of the State of New York alleging that the Trump family stole her inheritance.
Mary Trump alleged that President Trump, the president’s recently deceased brother Robert Trump, and the president’s sister Maryanne Trump Barry engaged in “rampant fraud and misconduct” to give her less of an inheritance than she deserved. The lawsuit began by describing the Trump family’s alleged decades-old scheme to “cheat on their taxes, swindle their business partners, and jack up rents on their low-income tenants.”
“This case is brought by a victim closer to home—their niece Mary,” the suit said. “Mary’s father, and their brother, Fred Trump Jr., died in 1981 when Mary was just sixteen years old. Upon his death, Mary inherited valuable minority interests in the family business. Donald, Maryanne, and Robert committed to watch over her interests as fiduciaries. They lied.”
From here, the plaintiff claimed the defendants threatened to “bankrupt” her interests to get her to sign a “so-called” settlement agreement.
“When Mary’s grandfather Fred Sr. died in 1999, Donald, Maryanne, and Robert moved to squeeze Mary out altogether. They threatened to bankrupt Mary’s interests and terminated the health insurance that was keeping her nephew—an infant with cerebral palsy—alive,” the suit said. “Then they presented her with a stack of fraudulent valuations and a so-called settlement agreement, and forced her to sign. All told, they fleeced her of tens of millions of dollars or more.”
Mary Trump said she only began to realize this “fraud” after the New York Times reported in October 2018 that President Trump “Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes
as He Reaped Riches From His Father.”
“But it began decades earlier, in secret, unbeknownst to Mary,” the suit said, alleging that serious harms resulted.
“As a direct and proximate result of relying on Defendants’ intentional misrepresentations, Mary suffered injury by entering into the Purported Agreements predicated on these incorrect valuations and was conned by Defendants into giving up her Interests for dramatically less than they were actually worth,” the lawsuit continued.. “Defendants’ fraud against Mary was particularly egregious and morally culpable because Defendants deliberately targeted her because they disliked her. For example, in a tweet, Donald stated that Mary was ‘rightfully shunned, scorned and mocked her entire life.’ In another tweet, he described her as ‘a mess’ who her grandfather ‘couldn’t stand.’”
The lawsuit alleged eight counts: fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, fraudulent inducement, negligent misrepresentation, civil conspiracy to commit fraudulent misrepresentation and fraudulent concealment, civil conspiracy to commit fraudulent inducement, breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty.
The defendants are the president in his personal capacity, Maryanne Trump Barry, and the executor of Robert Trump’s estate. The plaintiff seeks a jury trial and damages in excess of $500,000.
Mary Trump, who won a high-profile legal battle against her relatives in July in order to publish a tell-all book, said in a statement obtained by Law&Crime that the Trump family conspired “in secret” to “steal” from her.
“My father died when I was still a teenager, and my uncles Donald and Robert and aunt Maryanne were supposed to be protecting me as my trustees and fiduciaries. Recently, I learned that rather than protecting me, they instead betrayed me by working together in secret to steal from me, by telling lie after lie about the value of what I had inherited, and by conning me into giving everything away for a fraction of its true value,” she said. “I am bringing this case to hold them accountable and to recover what is rightfully mine.”
Mary Trump is being represented by attorney Roberta Kaplan, a partner at Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP.
“We now know that under the guise of supposedly taking care of their teenage niece after her father’s untimely death, Donald, Robert, and Maryanne Trump perpetrated elaborate schemes to defraud Mary Trump in order to enrich themselves to the tune of millions of dollars at her expense,” Kaplan said in a statement. “We are proud to represent Mary Trump in this effort to obtain justice for the outright fraud committed against her by her own family members.”
You can read the lawsuit below:
[Image via BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images]
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