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MSN/Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2016: How Trump's Web of LLCs Obscures His Business Interests
The WSJ's lead paragraph is indicative of the far reaching Octopus of Trump holdings:
President-elect Donald Trump owns a helicopter in Scotland.
To be more precise, he has a revocable trust that owns 99% of a Delaware limited liability company that owns 99% of another Delaware LLC that owns a Scottish limited company that owns another Scottish company that owns the 26-year-old Sikorsky S-76B helicopter, emblazoned with a red “TRUMP” on the side of its fuselage.
Across Mr. Trump’s business, he uses a similar web of privately held LLCs and other entities to house his assets—everything from real estate to a vintage carousel in Manhattan’s Central Park, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of hundreds of pages of his corporate filings and personal financial disclosures. Fifteen entities, for example, are used to hold his interests in two airplanes and three helicopters.
This is mind boggling. How could any organization begin to unravel his ownership in anything...from Russia to China to the USA? And if he continues to stonewall on his tax returns, he could operate his businesses as usual for the next four years and never disclose much of anything.
As the WSJ reports, roughly half of Trump's revenue comes from assets held in 96 different LLCs. He says he will turn his vast Trump empire over to a "Blind Trust" operated by his children. Of course his children will also be his advisors. Trump has even asked that they be provided security clearance.
Well as many Republican surrogates state...compared to the Clinton Foundation, there is nothing here to worry about. I do wonder though if four years from now we will be discussing how he was able to con everyone into believing him.