Company Tied To Trump’s Brother Was Awarded $33 Million Gov’t Contract
Robert Trump, the younger brother of President Donald Trump, owns a stake in a company that received a $33 million contract from the U.S. Marshals Service this year, according to The Washington Post.
The contract award to CertiPath — a firm specializing in digital security and verifying online identities and owned in part by a company tied to Robert Trump — led to a complaint from a rival bidder over possible favoritism in the bidding process.
That complaint, filed in July with the Justice Department’s office of the inspector general and obtained by The Post, alleges that CertiPath neglected to disclose that “one of the President’s closest living relatives stood to benefit financially from the transaction.”
Jeff Nigriny, CertiPath’s president and founder, said in a statement that Robert Trump “is one investor in an entity which holds a minority interest in Certipath” and that “he is exclusively a passive investor, has no management role whatsoever, is not an officer or director, and his name has never been used or mentioned by Certipath in any solicitation for a government contract, whether state or federal.”
Ngriny added that “Certipath has never used the Trump name in any way, and to do so would be completely inconsistent with our business practices and ethics.”
The Post noted that government Justice Department inspector general has not yet opened a review of the matter, and none of the relevant parties have offered comment, including the White House.
The Marshals Service contract is by far the largest obtained by CertiPath since it began receiving government contracts in 2013. Robert Trump’s stake in the firm “is through SHiRT LLC, an investment partnership including the younger Trump and CertiPath’s chief executive, Shawn R. Hughes.”
SHiRT LLC is one of two companies that acquired CertiPath in 2013, and prior to the $33 million “highly-coveted contract” the security firm was granted this year, CertiPath had been awarded a total of $13 million on contracts from the government.
The latest award involves upgrading and managing “‘physical access control systems’ for the Marshals Service including at judges chambers, courtrooms, cellblocks and firing ranges,” The Post reported — services one of CertiPath’s rival bidders has said the company is not well-equipped to perform.
According to the complaint, “CertiPath, which primarily provides information technology products related to digital identification, appears to lack the basic program management skills and experience required to provide the physical security” for these Marshals Service needs.
Robert Trump, who spent time with his elder brother in New York real estate and previously held senior positions within the Trump Organization, “is the president of Trump Management, a company that is listed on President Trump’s financial disclosure form.”
The Post reported that the two brothers have a financial relationship via Trump Management: “The company is 25 percent owned by the “Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust,” a trust fund of the president’s assets from which Trump can withdraw money from at any time. The other 75 percent of Trump Management is owned by ‘Trump Family Members,’ according to the president’s financial disclosure form.”
A second bidder for the Marshals Service contract, NMR Consulting, also protested the award, though officials said it had nothing to do with Robert Trump's relationship to CertiPath.