Albuquerque has hired debt collectors to pursue Donald Trump for $211,000 the city says it is owed following a disruptive 2019 campaign rally.
City officials said repeated requests for the campaign to pay the debt have not been met and that they have sent the bill to the former president’s current residence – his Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Florida.
Their decision to hire a debt collection agency to pursue the bill was first revealed by the Albuquerque Journal.
Jason Miller, a spokesperson for the former president, told DailyMail.com in response: ‘The Trump campaign does not owe any money here & this story should be retracted immediately.
‘Security matters for a President are resolved by contacting the Secret Service, not whining to the Albuquerque Journal.’
Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, a Democrat, told Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah that the former president might actually owe his city more than $211,000.
‘In my mind, [Trump] owes us a lot more because there was about a day and a half where we couldn’t even function as a city,’ Keller told The Daily Show.
‘Our resources for law enforcement are critical and limited.’
Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller (left), a Democrat, told Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah that the former president, Donald Trump, might actually owe his city more than $211,000
ALBUQUERQUE MAYOR’S COMMENTS ABOUT TRUMP START AT 5:40
Trump held a rally in Albuquerque on September 16, 2019. He then stayed overnight in nearby Rio Rancho.
Visits by the president often create logistical and financial hardships for cities who must provide security from the moment he steps off Air Force One until the time that he leaves.
Police officers and highway patrol officials often work overtime hours to secure the route that the president and his large motorcade take to an event.
During Trump’s trip to Albuquerque, City Hall and parts of downtown were shut down as roads were barricades and city employees were paid leave as they were told to go home.
Bernalillo County, which includes Albuquerque, also billed the campaign $139,000, but a spokesperson told the local press that the amount was written off as ‘bad debt.’
The campaign rally was actually held in Rio Rancho, whose officials ‘made it clear that they would not reimburse’ the city for any ancillary costs beyond the actual event, such as traffic control.
The presidential motorcade drives along interstate 25 as people gather on an overpass displaying an anti-Trump sign just before his rally in Albuquerque in September 2019
Trump spent the night in Albuquerque on September 16, 2019 before heading back to Washington, DC. He is seen above boarding Air Force One at Albuquerque International Sunport on September 17, 2019
This isn’t the first time that the Trump campaign has been accused of failing to pay debts accrued due to rallies held in cities.
Last year, the Center for Public Integrity said that the Trump campaign owed $1.82million to some 14 cities and counties.
Minneapolis officials said the former president owes $543,000 from an October 2019 rally in the city.
Tucson, Arizona says that the campaign owes about $82,000 going back to a March 2016 rally.
The campaign has responded to past claims by saying that the Secret Service must foot the bill and reimburse localities, but that’s only for presidential visits and not campaign stops.
Despite Trump’s reputation as a successful businessman, his resume includes a string of financial failures.
Trump’s companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection a total of six times after his properties, including several Atlantic City casinos and the Plaza Hotel in New York City, amassed debt in the 1990s.
Before entering the White House, Trump was thought to have a net worth of $3billion. But the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a hit to Trump’s brand due to the MAGA riots on January 6 are believed to have had an impact.
According to Bloomberg News, Trump is now worth $2.3billion.
On January 6, hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol after the then-president gave a speech near the White House urging them to ‘fight’ by convincing Republican lawmakers to decline to certify Joe Biden as the winner of the November 3 presidential election.
Six people died in the violence, including a police officer.
The former president is under investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for alleged financial wrongdoing. Trump is seen above at the White House in September 2020
After the riot, Deutsche Bank reportedly decided that it will not do business in the future with Trump or his companies.
Deutsche Bank is Trump’s most important lender, with about $340million in loans outstanding to the Trump Organization, the president’s umbrella group that is currently overseen by his two sons.
Trump’s finances have drawn scrutiny as investigators look into whether the former president may have violated any laws.
Last month, it was learned that investigators in a criminal probe of Trump’s real-estate business are combing through millions of pages of newly acquired records with an eye toward identifying witnesses who can bring the documents to life for a jury.
Some of the case’s key figures are well-known. Trump’s former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, has met several times with prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
And District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr’s team is interested in getting testimony from the Trump Organization’s long time chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, according to the two people familiar with the investigation.
But a growing universe of people, institutions and agencies are being scrutinized by Vance’s prosecutors as potential witnesses in the case.
Prosecutors are looking to gather information and testimony from bankers, bookkeepers, real-estate consultants and others close to the Trump Organization who could provide insights on its dealings, according to interviews and court filings.
The process of identifying all witnesses and targets could take months.
‘The next phase is identifying targets’ for subpoenas and testimony, said one person familiar with the case.
Vance has not accused Trump or his associates of wrongdoing but is examining, among other things, whether property values were manipulated to reduce Trump’s taxes or obtain other economic benefits.
The Trump Plaza and Hotel is pictured in 2014 – the same year it closed to the public. Trump’s companies have filed for bankruptcy protection six times after several properties, including Atlantic City casinos, amassed severe debt
The case is being heard by a grand jury that will decide whether there is evidence to indict Trump or his associates.
Vance’s investigators need insiders who can provide the narrative behind any conflicting numbers on Trump’s financial records and testify to Trump’s knowledge and intent, said former prosecutors of white-collar fraud cases.
‘Even in the most heavily document-dependent case, you need witnesses to tell the story,’ said Reed Brodsky, a longtime white-collar defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor.
The Supreme Court forced Trump’s longtime accountants Mazars USA to comply with a subpoena on March 1.
Since then, investigators have poured through Trump’s tax filings, business documents and internal correspondence, looking for discrepancies between information provided to creditors and data given to tax authorities, said two people familiar with the probe.
Forensic accounting specialists at FTI Consulting Inc, retained by Vance, are helping analyze the tax records, said a source with knowledge of the matter.
Vance’s investigation is one of two known criminal probes of the former president.
WHAT HE MADE, WHAT HE LOST AND WHAT HE PAID IN TAX
THE APPRENTICE – $197.3million
In 2005 alone, Trump raked in $47.8million because of a deal which entitled him to half the show’s profits.
ENDORSEMENT AND LICENSING DEALS – $230million
$500,000 from Domino’s in 2005
$3.8million from Serta Mattresses in 2013
$11million Trump International Hotel Waikiki licensing deal in 2010
$2.9million Trump Towers Istanbul licensing deal
INVESTMENTS – $178million
Trump Tower – $336million in profit between 2000 and 2018
Trump World Tower – $167million in profit
Share in two office buildings owned by Vornado – $176.5million
The golf courses were the most loss-making.
Between 2000 and 2018, the courses reported $315.6millon in losses.
In 2013, Trump National Doral in Miami reported $65.5million in losses.
In 2008 and 2009 – More than $1billion in losses from failure of his Atlantic City casino investments. He used it to claim a $72.9million refund in federal taxes from the previous four years
Bid for presidency announced, costing him Miss Universe and The Apprentice
But it boosted Mar-a-Lago membership and raked in $7.8million in 2016.
WHAT TAX DID HE PAY?
Between 2005 and 2008, he paid more than $70million to the IRS after his exorbitant income from The Apprentice and the endorsements that came with it caught up with him.
More than $300million which he is personally responsible for that he needs to start repaying in the next four years
He has liquidated hundreds of millions in stocks and has less than $1million in his portfolio, according to public financial disclosures
The IRS audit still is not complete. He could we more than $100million from that when it is, according to the Times.
Reuters has identified four other ongoing investigations involving Trump and at least 17 active lawsuits.
A lawyer for Trump declined to comment on the probes.
In Vance’s investigation, Mark Pomerantz, a former federal prosecutor hired last month as a special assistant, is leading the interviews with some witnesses.
Pomerantz, 69, prosecuted Gambino crime family boss John Gotti’s son in the 1990s and is known for his expertise in white-collar crime.
Last year, The New York Times revealed that Trump paid just $750 in federal income tax in 2016 and then again in 2017. Trump slammed the report as ‘phony and fake’.
That’s despite receiving $427.4million through 2018 from his reality television program and other endorsement deals.
The president could also face mounting financial pressure in the years ahead.
The tax records show he’s carrying a total of $421million in loans and debt that are primarily due within four years.
Responding to the report Sunday evening Trump told reporters: ‘It’s totally fake news. Made up. Totally fake news.’
The president, who campaigned for office as a billionaire real estate mogul and successful businessman, said he has paid taxes, though he gave no specifics.
The Times reported Trump claimed $47.4million in losses in 2018, despite claiming income of at least $434.9million in a financial disclosure that year.
The Times emphasized the documents reveal only what Trump told the government about his businesses, and did not disclose his true wealth.
Trump has previously blasted the long-running quest for his financial records as a ‘continuation of the most disgusting witch hunt in the history of our country’.
The businessman is the only modern president who has refused to release his tax returns.
Before he was elected, he had promised to do so.
Trump’s lawyer Alan Garten, said that ‘most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate’.
He added: ‘Over the past decade, President Trump has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015.’
The disclosure, which the Times said comes from tax return data it obtained extending over two decades, comes at a pivotal moment ahead of the first presidential debate Tuesday, and weeks before a divisive election.
The investigation, published Sunday, reveals tax deductions on expenses including $70,000 on styling Trump’s hair for The Apprentice.
Losses in the property businesses solely owned and managed by Trump appear to have offset income from his stake in The Apprentice and other entities with multiple owners.
The report also suggests ‘consulting fees’ were given to the president’s eldest daughter Ivanka, which appear to have helped lowered the family’s tax bill.