Wednesday, August 16, 2017

'Mob Links' Foiled Donald Trump's Plan For Sydney Casino

President Donald Trump's bid to open the first casino in Sydney in the 1980s was thwarted by the New South Wales government due to "mafia connections".

In 1987 Trump’s joint venture with the Queensland-based Kern Corporation was one of the four bidders for the casino's tender.

Salvatore "Salvie" Testa
What swung the decision against Trump were his dealings with mob-related personalities while buying property to further his casino establishments in Atlantic City. To enlarge Trump Plaza in the early 80s, Trump bought a nightclub that was owned by Salvatore 'Salvie' Testa and Frank Narducci Jr, mob hitmen known as the Young Executioners.

The two worked for Atlantic City’s mob boss Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo. Trump eventually bought the 5,000-square-foot lot that had been bought five years earlier for $195,000 for $1.1 million, more than twice it's market value.

Nicodemo 'Little Nicky' Scarfo

Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno
Trump hired mobbed-up firms to erect Trump Tower and his Trump Plaza apartment building in Manhattan, including buying overpriced concrete from a company controlled by mafia chieftains Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno and Paul Castellano. That story eventually came out in a federal investigation, which also concluded that the Trump Plaza apartment building most likely benefited from connections to racketeering. Salerno, Castellano and other organized crime figures controlled the ready-mix business in New York.

The indictment on which Salerno was convicted in 1988 and sent to prison, where he died, listed the nearly $8 million contract for concrete at Trump Plaza.

Paul Castellano

Donald Trump with editor Edward Kosner, center, and Roy Cohn, a Trump mentor and lawyer whose clients included bosses Salerno and Castellano.
In the summer of 1982 there was citywide strike—but the concrete work continued at the Trump Tower. It was a multitude of deals such as these that fueled rumors of Trump’s association with the mafia. Trump's Taj Mahal casino was fined $10 million for the money laundering that occurred over it's lifetime.

Thanks in large part to the laxity of New Jersey gaming investigators, Trump has never had to address his extensive dealings with mobsters head-on. On the campaign trail, Trump was coy about his past dealings with unsavory characters. But he couldn’t resist Trumpisms: "I've known some tough cookies over the years"