Old Trump Taj Mahal Money Laundering Case Resurfaces

Remember the days when the Trump Taj Mahal was hailed as “the Eight Wonder of the World” and Atlantic City was the darling of American gambling? Turns out business was booming for illegitimate and legitimate business alike.

Last week, Paste Magazine ran a story on the the 2015 money laundering judgment against Donald Trump and the Taj by the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

While writer Jacob Weindling’s angle was political — essentially asking why more news networks didn’t lob this ammunition during the presidential campaign — the story serves as a reminder, according to FinCEN, that POTUS willfully ignored the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and anti-money laundering (AML) regulations:

“Trump Taj Mahal, a casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, admitted to several willful BSA violations, including violations of AML program requirements, reporting obligations, and record-keeping requirements. Trump Taj Mahal has a long history of prior, repeated BSA violations cited by examiners dating back to 2003. Additionally, in 1998, FinCEN assessed a $477,700 civil money penalty against Trump Taj Mahal for currency transaction reporting violations.”

More details on the Taj’s money laundering

The FinCEN judgement took place in 2015 during the Taj’s bankruptcy proceedings when Trump was no longer the casino’s owner. However, the judgement is based on violations that took place while Trump owned the property.

FinCEN’s press release about the judgement provided further detail about the casino’s violations while Trump was at the helm, all of which the casino admitted:

  • Failed to implement and maintain an effective AML program
  • Failed to report suspicious transactions
  • Failed to properly file required currency transaction reports
  • Failed to keep appropriate records as required by the BSA

According to FinCEN, the judgement wasn’t a “gotcha” decision. The Taj had “ample notice” of its violations because many of them, the release said, took place in 2012 and 2010.

FinCEN says Taj’s failures could’ve funded ‘criminals, terrorists and other bad actors’

Jennifer Shasky Calvery, the FinCEN director at the time, suffered no fools with her assessment of the casino’s violations.

She said the Taj had a responsibility “to help protect our financial system from being exploited by criminals, terrorists, and other bad actors” and failed in that responsibility by doing a poor job of following regulations.

FinCEN fined the Taj $10 million, an unprecedented amount at the time. This was the second time the Taj was hit with a federal fine for shady money practices.

Earlier this year, CNN dug up records on a nearly $500,000 fine against the Taj for 106 violations of “anti-money laundering rules.”