Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, sister to President Donald Trump, was revealed in The New York Times’ recent exposé on the Trump siblings’ tax evasion schemes as a key player.
The report details the brazen fraud in wake of the senior Fred Trump’s death. Prior to his death, his son Donald urged his father to set up some ways for his brothers and sisters to score big without having to pay taxes. The elder Trump turned to Barry to consult about the legality of the idea.
“This doesn’t pass the smell test,” he told her, she recalled during a deposition.
Judge Barry read the codicil in Fred Trump’s will, and agreed with her father it was problematic.
“Donald was in precarious financial straits by his own admission,” she said, “and Dad was very concerned as a man who worked hard for his money and never wanted any of it to leave the family.”
The elder Trump did not wish for his money to fall into the hands of “Donald’s creditors” and asked Barry to find new estate planning attorneys.
It was at this point that Donald lost sole control over his father’s finances.
“Simply put, without immediate action, Fred Trump’s heirs faced the prospect of losing hundreds of millions of dollars to estate taxes,” The Times described. “Whatever their differences, the Trumps formulated a plan to avoid this fate. How they did it is a story never before told.”
Barry and her siblings came up with numerous ways to transfer the wealth without having to pay gift taxes.
“The Trumps’ plan, executed over the next decade, blended traditional techniques — such as rewriting Fred Trump’s will to maximize tax avoidance — with unorthodox strategies that tax experts told The Times were legally dubious and, in some cases, appeared to be fraudulent,” the report revealed. “As a result, the Trump children would gain ownership of virtually all of their father’s buildings without having to pay a penny of their own. They would turn the mountain of cash into a molehill of cash. And hundreds of millions of dollars that otherwise would have gone to the United States Treasury would instead go to Fred Trump’s children.”