LLCs Now Account For 70% Of Trump Property Buyers
Nearly three-quarters of the people who purchased properties from President Donald Trump's companies in 2017 did so through platforms that allowed them to hide their identities from the public, according to reports.
Over the last 12 months, an estimated $35M worth of real estate was sold by Trump's companies to buyers using a limited liability company structure, which allows people or businesses to purchase real estate assets without having to reveal their name, CNBC reports.
While profits from Trump's businesses are funneled into a trust run by the president's sons, as the sole beneficiary Trump is able to withdraw cash whenever he chooses, raising ethical issues.
Buyers of Trump assets overwhelmingly started buying through shell companies or LLCs halfway through 2016 when Trump was still on the campaign trail. Prior to his nomination, only an estimated 4% of his buyers used LLC’s to purchase property. In the year following, this number jumped to 70%, according to CNBC.
This news comes while Trump is facing pressure from Congress and ethics watchdogs to increase transparency about his real estate dealings both domestic and foreign, the latter of which he had promised to avoid while in office, CNBC reports.
Trump's independent ethics adviser, Bobby Burchfield, has insisted that an iron-clad approval process is in place to ensure the validity of the deals and buyers, telling CNBC that if the team is unable to determine the identity of the person behind the LLC or where the funding is coming from, the deal does not move forward.