Trump Maintains Secret Bank Account In China, Withdrew $15 Million Mysteriously In 2017
President Donald Trump has maintained at least three foreign bank accounts — in China, the United Kingdom and Ireland —according to a new report by the New York Times.
The accounts are not shown in any public financial disclosures as they are held under corporate names, but were found through cross-referencing the tax records obtained by the Times.
Trump International Hotels Management LLC runs the account in China, which was reported to have paid $188,561 in taxes in China while pursuing licensing deals from 2013 to 2015.
Although the accounts in the U.K. and Ireland report millions of dollars in revenue due to them both being linked to Trump golf courses in each country, the Chinese account reported just a few thousand dollars.
A Trump Organization lawyer, Alan Garten, told the Times they had “opened an account with a Chinese bank having offices in the United States in order to pay the local taxes” as they pursued business deals there, including the potential of expanding hotels in Asia.
“No deals, transactions or other business activities ever materialized and, since 2015, the office has remained inactive,” Garten said. “Though the bank account remains open, it has never been used for any other purpose.”
Trump’s company has spent at least $192,000 in investing in five small companies specifically created to pursue business ventures in China, though it is unclear the exact dollar amount that has gone into the organization’s efforts to get involved in business deals in China.
However, THC China Development, has been the main method of attempts to drive business developments in China. The company is under direct ownership by Trump International Hotels Management, and tax records do not (and do not have to) specify exactly how much of its financial affairs relate to China.
The Times reported the company saw a large jump in revenue in 2017 — about $17.5 million, which was more than the previous five years’ of reported revenue combined. That same year, Trump withdrew $15.1 million from the company’s capital account.
Potentially one explanation for the spike, listed on public disclosures only as “management fees and other contract payments” was the buyout of its management contract for the hotel in SoHo, renamed the same year as The Dominick. Bloomberg reported the buyout to have cost approximately $6 million.
Garten did not confirm the Bloomberg estimate but acknowledged that the buyout was a “significant portion” of the company’s revenue unrelated to China.