By DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE
Here are some of the actual hardworking Americans Hillary was talking about during the Presidential Debate on Monday. These people all suffered financially because Donald Trump cared more about lining his own pockets than paying the folks who worked for him, Hilary said.
John Millar, whose marble supply company was owed $3.9 million by Trump, had to shut down his business, lay off workers, and borrow from friends to make ends meet.
Millar is deceased. He filed for personal bankruptcy in 1996 after failing to pay credit card bills and state taxes. His friend Barbara Kerr recalls him “breaking down in tears at a Cape May restaurant.” Beth Rosser’s family company nearly collapsed after her father received only 30 cents on the dollar for work on Trump’s Taj Mahal. Her father had to lay off his own brother when Trump failed to pay for $232,000 worth of work. “Trump crawled his way to the top on the back of little guys, one of them being my father. He had no regard for thousands of men and women who worked on those projects. He says he’ll make America great again, but his past shows the complete opposite of that.”Rosser said that her father, who never made it past the seventh grade, “built his businesses on trust” and was “shocked” when Trump failed to pay what he owed.
Marty Rosenberg’s plate glass company lost $450,000 in a settlement over unpaid bills for work on Trump Taj Mahal. Rosenberg “helped form a committee of construction firms and suppliers stiffed by Mr. Trump.”
Rosenberg’s personal finances suffered and his company struggled, but other businesses didn’t survive according to Rosenberg.
Charles Sperry’s kitchen equipment company was asked to take 30 cents on the dollar for its work on Trump Taj Mahal and then made enough only to break even on their work. Sperry’s company was hired to provide stoves, walk- in freezers, and countertops, and eventually his company received 90 percent of what they were owed, enough to cover expenses but not enough to make a profit from their work.
Robert Morrison had to write off $2 million out of the $3 million Trump owed his company for fiberglass work on the Taj Mahal. His staff worked “24 hours a day, seven days a week” to complete the project. Trump was “stringing us along,” said one of the project managers. “What he did was wrong.”
Michael Diehl was forced to take 70 cents on the dollar for $100,000 worth of pianos that Trump bought but refused to pay for. “He put out a bid for pianos about a year before the Taj opened. I won the bid. I delivered the pianos, and I waited and I waited to get paid. And finally I heard from them that I had three choices: to accept 70 percent of the bid or to wait until the casino could afford to pay the bill in full. Or I could force them into bankruptcy with everybody else and maybe get 10 cents on the dollar. I took the 70 percent, and I lost 30 percent.”
Edward Friel’s company began to fail after Trump refused to pay the $83,600 balance left on a $400,000 cabinetry contract to build the bases for slot machines, registration desks, bars, and other cabinets at Harrah’s at Trump Plaza. Friel’s family business had been founded in the 1940s by Edward’s father.
“That began the demise of the Edward J. Friel Company… which has been around since my grandfather,” said Edward’s son Paul. The company later went bankrupt.
Patrick McGahn was hired as a lawyer to fend off contractors that Trump had stiffed, and then Trump stiffed him, too. McGahn was a powerful South Jersey political player, “no-nonsense ex-Marine,” and a “tough-guy lawyer who fended off contractors who felt shortchanged” for Trump. Despite the irony, he later filed suit against Trump, charging he was never paid in full for his own work. He died in 2000.
Frank Lundy showed McGahn, Trump’s “tough-guy lawyer” photographs of his grandfather, stricken by a stroke, as an appeal to get paid, and was told “anyone who can afford home health care doesn’t need our money. Next.” Lundy was owed $580,000 for overseeing construction clean-up at the Taj Mahal.
And it’s not just in Atlantic City that Trump has stiffed people.
Andrew Tesoro was paid pennies on the dollar after he designed Trump National Westchester’s clubhouse. Tesoro’s five-person architecture firm was eventually offered $25,000 on the final $140,000 Trump owed his company. “I was startled at the bullying. These guys ganged up on me and basically said, there were cost overruns. They said, we’ll give you $50,000. Their message to me was take it or leave it. I was stunned.
I left and made a bill for $50,000 and sent it. It wasn’t paid… I met with Mr. Trump. He said, you’re a nice guy, you’re a good architect, I’ll give you half of that $50,000. I walked away with $25,000.” Tesoro said his firm had to “dig into credit lines just to keep the ship afloat.”
“I’m a sole proprietor so we siphoned off much of my savings. Then the recession hit. We were just getting back on our feet from the Trump punch in the stomach and a lot of other work fell away. We got really close to folding. There were two years when my income was zero.”
Juan Carlos Enriquez has been waiting for two years to be paid $30,000 for painting work at Trump’s Doral Golf Club. Enriquez’s company is one of two different paint firms that were not paid for their work at Doral Golf Club. Enriquez filed a lien against Trump’s course and then filed a lawsuit. The judge in the case has since ordered foreclosure of the resort if the contractor isn’t paid.
Nicolas Jacobson was an 82 year old small business owner when Trump refused to pay him in full for three chandeliers for his Mar-A-Lago resort ahead of his wedding to Melania Trump. Trump purchased three five-foot-wide chandeliers for $34,000 with a 50 percent down payment from Jacobson. Trump later sued Jacobson’s company instead of paying the bill. Jacobson, a Latvian immigrant not fluent in English without legal representation, initially agreed to accept half of what was owed to him and sign an apology letter to Trump, which Trump’s lawyer allegedly helped write. He ended up taking a third of what was owed after getting a lawyer and counter- suing. The shop later closed, and Jacobson died in 2015. Jacobson’s lawyer said, “My client [was] just a small businessman. No big corporation. He just didn’t have the money to fight Mr. Trump.”
Larry Walters, the owner of a Las Vegas drapery factory, settled for $380,000 less than he was owed by Trump because “they were going to drag it on for many, many years.” Walters initially tried withholding fabric because Trump wasn’t paying his bills. So Trump sued and had sheriff’s deputies forcibly take possession of the material. Walters never had payment problems with other casino or hotel clients.