Donald Trump has been linked to Mafia chieftain Anthony 'Fat Tony' Salerno again in a new investigative report. The real estate mogul and GOP front-runner employed mob-run construction firms to build his Trump Tower and Trump Plaza buildings, according to a piece by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Cay Johnston in Politico.
And it was Trump's business deal with these firms that led to 'Fat Tony', then head of the Genovese crime family, being convicted of racketeering, Johnston writes. It is not the first time Trump has been tied to Fat Tony. But this report is the most extensive account of the documents, anecdotes and investigations that connect the two. Instead of using the industry standard, steel, Trump built his glittering apartment block with ready-mix concrete.
According to legal papers and experts quoted in the piece, Trump shelled out 'inflated' payments to Fat Tony's concrete firm to get them to use the quicker more problematic method - while assuring the unions would not kick up a fuss. The entire business deal was conducted by Trump's close confidante, the lawyer Rob Cohn - who also represented Fat Tony.
Trump insists he has no recollection of such a deal and claims he has no connection to the mafia. Johnston writes that when he asked Trump for a comment, the presumptive GOP nominee said: 'If I don't like what you write, I'll sue you.' The lengthy, deeply investigated article digs out Fat Tony's indictment papers and records of Trump's building work in the 1980s.
Fat Tony was indicted and convicted in 1988. It emerged he controlled a firm called S & A Concrete - as well as the highly-influential unions connected to it. His indictment says he was running S & A Concretes when the firm received 'inflated' payments to build Trump Tower using speedy but problem-prone ready-mix concrete.