In the Trump family, chicanery appeared to begin at home.
The estranged niece of President Trump, in a Manhattan lawsuit filed Thursday, accused her uncle Donald and his two siblings of stealing her multi-million dollar inheritance in the years after her father died in 1981. By the time family patriarch Fred Trump Sr. passed away in 1999, Mary Trump was already out a fortune siphoned away by her aunt and uncles, the court papers charge.
In addition to the president, his sister Maryanne and brother Robert participated in the alleged scam where the Trumps were described as grifters taking advantage of the naive Mary — who was just 16 when her father, Fred Jr., passed away.
“Rather than protecting me, they instead betrayed me by working together in secret to steal from me, by telling lie after lie about the value of what I had inherited, and by conning me into giving away everything away for a fraction of its true value,” said Mary Trump after the lawsuit was filed.
When Mary’s grandfather Fred Sr. died, Donald, Maryanne and Robert allegedly angled to squeeze her out altogether. The trio “threatened to bankrupt Mary’s interests” and to cut off life-saving health insurance for her cerebral palsy-afflicted infant nephew, the court papers charged.
The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages in excess of $500,000 along with punitive damages from the Trumps.
Earlier this year, the now 55-year-old Mary Trump released a damning book where the psychologist denounced the president as “the world’s most dangerous man,” laying the blame for his behavior on enablers within the family.
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The lawsuit was equally harsh in its recounting of the Trump family dynamic.
“Defendants conspired with each other and those loyal to them to abuse their dominant position for their own benefit, breach the trust that had been placed in them, and defraud Mary out of what was rightfully hers,” the 52-page Manhattan Supreme Court filing alleged. “All told, they fleeced her of tens of millions of dollars or more.”
Charles Harder, the attorney who represented Robert Trump in efforts to block the book’s publication, did not respond to an email for comment on the lawsuit.
The court papers alleged the elder generation of Trumps, though supposedly committed to keeping an watchful eye on Mary’s financial affairs, in fact did the exact opposite.
“Her aunt and uncles — who called Mary ‘honeybunch’ — promised to watch over her interests for her benefit,” court papers charged,” the lawsuit charged. “Instead, they swindled her.
“Rather than protect Mary’s interests, they designed and carried out a complex scheme to siphon funds away from her interests, conceal their grift, and deceive her about the true value of what she had inherited.”