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特朗普家族“逃税门”(六):金钱故事的真相

更新时间:2018-10-14 10:25:56 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father
特朗普家族“逃税门”(六):金钱故事的真相

REMNANTS OF EMPIRE

商业帝国的残余部分

After Fred Trump’s death, his children used familiar methods to devalue what little of his life’s work was still in his name.

弗雷德·特朗普去世后,他的子女们用通常的方法降低了他毕生积累中仍保留在他名下的那个很小的部分。

During Fred Trump’s final years, dementia stole most of his memories. When family visited, there was one name he could reliably put to a face.

在弗雷德·特朗普生命的最后几年,失智症夺走了他的大部分记忆。不过,家人来看他时,他总能可靠地说出一个名字。

Donald.

唐纳德。

On June 7, 1999, Fred Trump was admitted to Long Island Jewish Medical Center, not far from the house in Jamaica Estates, for treatment of pneumonia. He died there on June 25, at the age of 93.

1999年6月7日,弗雷德·特朗普因肺炎被送进长岛犹太医疗中心,这家医院离他在牙买加庄园的家不远。他于6月25日在医院去世,享年93岁。

Fifteen months later, Fred Trump’s executors — Donald, Maryanne and Robert — filed his estate tax return. The return, obtained by The Times, vividly illustrates the effectiveness of the tax strategies devised by the Trumps in the early 1990s.

15个月后,弗雷德·特朗普的遗嘱执行人——唐纳德、玛丽安和罗伯特——提交了父亲的遗产税报税表。时报得到的申报表生动地说明了特朗普家族在20世纪90年代初制定的避税收策略的有效性。

Fred Trump, one of the most prolific New York developers of his time, owned just five apartment complexes, two small strip malls and a scattering of co-ops in the city upon his death. The man who paid himself $50 million in 1990 died with just $1.9 million in the bank. He owned not a single stock, bond or Treasury bill. According to his estate tax return, his most valuable asset was a $10.3 million I.O.U. from Donald Trump, money his son appears to have borrowed the year before Fred Trump died.

弗雷德·特朗普是他那个时代最多产的纽约开发商之一,而在他去世的时候,他在纽约仅拥有五片公寓楼盘、两处小型购物中心和零星的合作公寓。这位在1990年给自己开过5000万美元年薪的人,死的时候银行里只有190万美元的存款。他不持有任何股票、债券或国库券。根据他的遗产税报税表,他最值钱的资产是唐纳德·特朗普开给他的一张1030万美元的欠条,这是儿子在弗雷德去世前的那年向父亲借的钱。

The bulk of Fred Trump’s empire was nowhere to be found on his estate tax return. And yet Donald Trump and his siblings were not done. Recycling the legally dubious techniques they had mastered with the GRATs, they dodged tens of millions of dollars in estate taxes on the remnants of empire that Fred Trump still owned when he died, The Times found.

弗雷德·特朗普商业帝国的大部分在他的遗产税报税表上不见了。不过,唐纳德·特朗普及其兄弟姐妹们并没有就此罢休。时报发现,他们再次把他们设立GRAT时掌握的法律上可疑的技术用在了弗雷德·特朗普去世时仍拥有的商业帝国的残余部分,逃避了数千万美元的遗产税。

As with the GRATs, they obtained appraisals from Mr. Von Ancken that grossly understated the actual market value of those remnants. And as with the GRATs, they aggressively discounted Mr. Von Ancken’s appraisals. The result: They claimed that the five apartment complexes and two strip malls were worth $15 million. In 2004, records show, bankers would put a value of $176.2 million on the exact same properties.

与设立GRAT时一样,他们从冯·安肯那里得到了对那些残余部分的大大地低于实际市场价值的估价。也与设立GRAT时一样,他们对冯·安肯的估价大打折扣。结果是:他们声称余下的五片公寓楼盘和二个购物中心只值1500万美元。记录显示,2004年,银行家们对同是这些房地产的估价为1.762亿美元。

The most improbable of these valuations was for Tysens Park Apartments, a complex of eight buildings with 1,019 units on Staten Island. On the portion of the estate tax return where they were required to list Tysens Park’s value, the Trumps simply left a blank space and claimed they owed no estate taxes on it at all.

这些估值中最荒唐的是泰森斯公园公寓(Tysens Park Apartments),该公寓楼盘由八栋大楼组成,位于斯塔顿岛,共有1019个单元。在遗产税报税表中,特朗普家族被要求给出泰森斯公园公寓价值的地方,他们什么都没填,并声称对这处遗产根本不欠任何遗产税。

As with the Trump Village appraisal, the Trumps appear to have hidden key facts from the I.R.S. Tysens Park, like Trump Village, had operated for years under an affordable housing program that by law capped Fred Trump’s profits. This cap drastically reduced the property’s market value.

正如对特朗普村的估价那样,特朗普家族看来对国税局隐瞒了关键的事实。泰森斯公园公寓与特朗普村一样,多年来曾一直作为保障性住房项目的一部分经营,这对弗雷德·特朗普能够赚取的利润有一个法律上限。上限大大降低了这片房地产的市场价值。

Except for one thing: The Trumps had removed Tysens Park from the affordable housing program the year before Fred Trump died, The Times found. When Donald Trump and his siblings filed Fred Trump’s estate tax return, there were no limits on their profits. In fact, they had already begun raising rents.

但有一个不同:时报发现,特朗普家族在弗雷德·特朗普去世的前一年,将泰森斯公园公寓从保障性住房项目中抽了出来。当唐纳德·特朗普及其兄弟姐妹们提交弗雷德·特朗普的遗产税报税表时,他们能够得到的利润已不再受限制。事实上,他们已经开始在提高房租。

As their father’s executors, Donald, Maryanne and Robert were legally responsible for the accuracy of his estate tax return. They were obligated not only to give the I.R.S. a complete accounting of the value of his estate’s assets, but also to disclose all the taxable gifts he made during his lifetime, including, for example, the $15.5 million Trump Palace gift to Donald Trump and the millions of dollars he gave his children via All County’s padded invoices.

作为父亲的遗嘱执行人,唐纳德、玛丽安和罗伯特对他的遗产税报税表的准确性负有法律责任。他们不仅有义务向国税局提交父亲房地产价值的完整汇总,也有义务向国税局披露父亲一生中给出的所有应纳税的赠与,包括比如那笔给唐纳德·特朗普的1550万美元的特朗普宫赠与,以及弗雷德·特朗普通过奥康提的加价发票送给子女们的数百万美元。

“If they knew anything was wrong they could be in violation of tax law,” Mr. Tritt, the University of Florida law professor, said. “They can’t just stick their heads in the sand.”

“如果他们知道这里面有不对之处的话,他们很可能违反了税法,”佛罗里达大学(University of Florida)法学教授特里特说。“他们不能只是回避问题。”

In addition to drastically understating the value of apartment complexes and shopping centers, Fred Trump’s estate tax return made no mention of either Trump Palace or All County.

除了大幅低估公寓楼盘和购物中心的价值外,弗雷德·特朗普的遗产税报税表也没有提特朗普宫或奥康提。

It wasn’t until after Fred Trump’s wife, Mary, died at 88 on Aug. 7, 2000, that the I.R.S. completed its audit of their combined estates. The audit concluded that their estates were worth $51.8 million, 23 percent more than Donald Trump and his siblings had claimed.

直到弗雷德·特朗普的妻子玛丽于2000年8月7日以88岁的年龄去世之后,国税局才完成了对他们两人遗产的审计工作,国税局得出的结论是,他们的遗产价值为5180万美元,比唐纳德·特朗普及其兄弟姐妹们声称的高23%。

That meant an additional $5.2 million in estate taxes. Even so, the Trumps’ tax bill was a fraction of what they would have owed had they reported the market value of what Fred and Mary Trump owned at the time of their deaths.

这意味着他们要额外缴纳520万美元的遗产税。即便如此,特朗普家族所欠的税单也只是他们可能会支付的遗产税的很小一部分,如果他们按照弗雷德和玛丽·特朗普去世时所拥有资产的市场价值如实申报的话。

Mr. Harder, the president’s lawyer, defended the tax returns filed by the Trumps. “The returns and tax positions that The Times now attacks were examined in real time by the relevant taxing authorities,” he said. “The taxing authorities requested a few minor adjustments, which were made, and then fully approved all of the tax filings. These matters have now been closed for more than a decade.”

特朗普总统的律师哈德为特朗普家人提交的纳税申报表进行了辩护。“时报现在攻击的报税表和纳税状况,已被相关税务部门实时审查过,”他说。“税务当局当时要求进行了一些小的调整,然后全部批准了所有的税务申报。这些事情已经了结十多年了。”

A GOOD TIME TO SELL

出售的好时机

Donald Trump, in financial trouble again, pitched the idea of selling the still-profitable empire that his father had wanted to keep in the family.

再度陷入财务困境的唐纳德·特朗普提出了他的想法,卖掉仍在盈利的、父亲曾希望留在家族中的商业帝国。

In 2003, the Trump siblings gathered at Trump Tower for one of their periodic updates on their inherited empire.

2003年,特朗普兄弟姐妹在特朗普大厦聚会,就他们继承下来的商业帝国进行一次定期的情况通报。

As always, Robert Trump drove into Manhattan with several of his lieutenants. Donald Trump appeared with Allen H. Weisselberg, who had worked for Fred Trump for two decades before becoming his son’s chief financial officer. The sisters, Maryanne Trump Barry and Elizabeth Trump Grau, were there as well.

和往常一样,罗伯特·特朗普带着他的几个副手开车来到曼哈顿。唐纳德·特朗普与艾伦·H·魏塞尔贝格(Allen H. Weisselberg)一同到场,魏塞尔贝格为弗雷德·特朗普工作了20年之后,成了唐纳德的首席财务官。姐妹俩玛丽安·特朗普·巴里和伊丽莎白·特朗普·格劳也在场。

The meeting followed the usual routine: a financial report, a rundown of operational issues and then the real business — distributing profits to each Trump. The task of handing out the checks fell to Steve Gurien, the empire’s finance chief.

会议按通常的顺序进行:财务报告,经营问题总结,然后才是实质性的事情——给每个人分配利润。分发支票的任务落到了商业帝国的财务主管史蒂夫·古瑞恩(Steve Gurien)身上。

A moment later, Donald Trump abruptly changed the course of his family’s history: He said it was a good time to sell.

片刻之后,唐纳德·特朗普突然就改变了家族的历史进程。他说,现在正是出售资产的好时机。

Fred Trump’s empire, in fact, was continuing to produce healthy profits, and selling contradicted his stated wish to keep his legacy in the family. But Donald Trump insisted that the real estate market had peaked and that the time was right, according to a person familiar with the meeting.

实际上,弗雷德·特朗普的帝国仍在继续创造稳健的盈利,而且出售资产与他公开表达过的将遗产保留在家族之内的愿望相悖。但据一位了解这次会议情况的人透露,唐纳德·特朗普坚持认为房地产市场已经见顶,时机成熟。

He was also, once again, in financial trouble. His Atlantic City casinos were veering toward another bankruptcy. His creditors would soon threaten to oust him unless he committed to invest $55 million of his own money.

当时也是他再度陷入财务困境之际。他的大西洋城赌场又一次滑向破产。他的债权人很快就会威胁要他出局,除非他答应再投入5500万美元他本人的资金。

Yet if Donald Trump’s sudden push to sell stunned the room, it met with no apparent resistance from his siblings. He directed his brother to solicit private bids, saying he wanted the sale handled quickly and quietly. Donald Trump’s signature skill — drumming up publicity for the Trump brand — would sit this one out.

不过,如果唐纳德·特朗普突然提出出售资产令在场的所有人震惊的话,这个建议并没有遭到他兄弟姐妹的明显反对。他吩咐弟弟招揽私下的出价,说他希望迅速且悄无声息地完成这笔买卖。唐纳德·特朗普的招牌技能——为特朗普品牌大造声势——在这件事上就不用了。

Three potential bidders were given access to the finances of Fred Trump’s empire — 37 apartment complexes and several shopping centers. Ruby Schron, a major New York City landlord, quickly emerged as the favorite. In December 2003, Mr. Schron called Donald Trump and they came to an agreement; Mr. Schron paid $705.6 million for most of the empire, which included paying off the Trumps’ mortgages. A few remaining properties were sold to other buyers, bringing the total sales price to $737.9 million.

三名可能出价竞购的人得以看到了弗雷德·特朗普商业帝国的财务情况,帝国包括37片公寓楼盘和几处购物中心。纽约市的大地产商鲁比·施隆(Ruby Schron)很快成为最可能的买家。2003年12月,施隆给唐纳德·特朗普打了电话,他们达成了协议;施隆以7.056亿美元买下这个商业帝国的大部分资产,买价中包括偿还特朗普家族的抵押贷款。剩下的少量房产出售给了其他买家,帝国的总售价达到7.379亿美元。

On May 4, 2004, the Trump children spent most of the day signing away ownership of what their father had doggedly built over 70 years. The sale received little news coverage, and an article in The Staten Island Advance included the rarest of phrases: “Trump did not return a phone call seeking comment.”

2004年5月4日,特朗普家子女这天的大部分时间都花在了签字上,他们卖掉了父亲70多年锲而不舍地营造出来的帝国的所有权。这笔交易几乎没有新闻报道,《斯塔顿岛先锋报》(The Staten Island Advance)上的一篇文章里有句最少见的话:“特朗普没有回复要求置评的电话。”

Even more extraordinary was this unreported fact: The banks financing Mr. Schron’s purchase valued Fred Trump’s empire at nearly $1 billion. In other words, Donald Trump, master dealmaker, sold his father’s empire for hundreds of millions less than it was worth.

更不寻常的是一个未曾报道过的事实:为施隆的收购提供融资的银行对弗雷德·特朗普的商业帝国估价接近10亿美元。换言之,唐纳德·特朗普这个做交易的高手,卖父亲的资产得到的钱比资产的所值少了好几个亿。

Within a year of the sale, Mr. Trump spent $149 million in cash on a rapid series of transactions that bolstered his billionaire bona fides. In June 2004 he agreed to pay $73 million to buy out his partner in the planned Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago. (“I’m just buying it with my own cash,” he told reporters.) He paid $55 million in cash to make peace with his casino creditors. Then he put up $21 million more in cash to help finance his purchase of Maison de l’Amitié, a waterfront mansion in Palm Beach, Fla., that he later sold to a Russian oligarch.

在这笔交易完成后的一年内,特朗普就花掉了1.49亿美元的现金,快速地进行了一连串的交易,增强了他的亿万富翁名声。2004年6月,他同意以7300万美元买断计划在芝加哥建设的特朗普国际酒店大厦(Trump International Hotel & Tower)的合伙人股份。(“我只是在用自己的现金来买,”他告诉记者。)他付了5500万美元的现金与他赌场的债权人言归于好。然后他又拿出2100万美元的更多现金,为自己购买佛罗里达棕榈滩的海滨豪宅友谊宅邸(Maison de l’Amitié)助一臂之力,他后来把这个豪宅卖给了一位俄罗斯寡头。

*****

The first season of “The Apprentice” was broadcast in 2004, just as Donald Trump was wrapping up the sale of his father’s empire. The show’s opening montage — quick cuts of a glittering Trump casino, then Trump Tower, then a Trump helicopter mid-flight, then a limousine depositing the man himself at the steps of his jet, all set to the song “For the Love of Money” — is a reminder that the story of Donald Trump is fundamentally a story of money.

电视真人秀《学徒》的第一季在2004年开播,那正是唐纳德·特朗普在完成父亲资产出售的时候。节目的开场是一连串镜头快速剪切——金碧辉煌的特朗普赌场、特朗普大厦、一架飞行中的特朗普直升机、一辆豪华轿车把他本人送到他的喷气机舷梯前,这段剪切配的曲子“因为爱钱”(For the Love of Money)提醒着人们,唐纳德·特朗普的故事本质上就是个金钱的故事。

Money is at the core of the brand Mr. Trump has so successfully sold to the world. Yet essential to that mythmaking has been keeping the truth of his money — how much of it he actually has, where and whom it came from — hidden or obscured. Across the decades, aided and abetted by less-than-aggressive journalism, Mr. Trump has made sure his financial history would be sensationalized far more than seen.

钱是特朗普如此成功地推销给全世界的品牌的核心。然而,对制造这个神话至关重要的一直都是隐瞒或模糊他的钱的真相——他实际拥有多少钱,钱是从哪里、从什么人那里来的。几十年来,在对追求真相不够积极的新闻媒体的帮助和纵容下,特朗普确保了他的财务历史被吹得远比实际情况更神乎其神。

Just this year, in a confessional essay for The Washington Post, Jonathan Greenberg, a former reporter for Forbes, described how Mr. Trump, identifying himself as John Barron, a spokesman for Donald Trump, repeatedly and flagrantly lied to get himself on the magazine’s first-ever list of wealthiest Americans in 1982. Because of Mr. Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, the public has been left to interpret contradictory glimpses of his income offered up by anonymous leaks. A few pages from one tax return, mailed to The Times in September 2016, showed that he declared a staggering loss of $916 million in 1995. A couple of pages from another return, disclosed on Rachel Maddow’s program, showed that he earned an impressive $150 million in 2005.

就在今年,《华盛顿邮报》发表的一篇满是悔意的文章里,前《福布斯》杂志记者乔纳森·格林伯格(Jonathan Greenberg)讲述了唐纳德·特朗普当年是怎样冒充他自己的发言人约翰·巴伦(John Barron),一次次地公然说谎,最终让自己上了该杂志1982年首次发布的美国富豪榜。由于特朗普拒绝公开他的报税表,公众只能自己去解释匿名爆料提供的特朗普个人收入的自相矛盾的点滴。2016年9月寄到时报的一份报税表中的几页显示,特朗普在1995年申报了高达9.16亿美元的亏损。在主持人雷切尔·玛多(Rachel Maddow)节目中披露的另一份报税表中的几页显示,他在2005年赚了令人赞叹的1.5亿美元。

In a statement to The Times, the president’s spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, reiterated what Mr. Trump has always claimed about the evolution of his fortune: “The president’s father gave him an initial $1 million loan, which he paid back. President Trump used this money to build an incredibly successful company as well as net worth of over $10 billion, including owning some of the world’s greatest real estate.”

总统的发言人萨拉·赫卡比·桑德斯(Sarah Huckabee Sanders)在致时报的一份声明中重申了特朗普对其个人财富发展始终坚持的说法:“总统的父亲给了他最初的100万美元借款,他早已还清了。特朗普总统用这笔钱建立起一家无比成功的公司、以及超过100亿美元的净资产,其中包括持有若干处全世界最好的房产。”

Today, the chasm between that claim of being worth more than $10 billion and a Bloomberg estimate of $2.8 billion reflects the depth of uncertainty that remains about one of the most chronicled public figures in American history. Questions about newer money sources are rapidly accumulating because of the Russia investigation and lawsuits alleging that Mr. Trump is violating the Constitution by continuing to do business with foreign governments.

如今,自称的100亿美元身价与彭博社估计的28亿美元的身价之间的巨大落差,反映了在对这位美国历史上被报道最多的公众人物之一的了解上,仍存在着深深的不确定。由于“通俄门”调查、以及指控特朗普仍在与外国政府做生意有违宪法的诉讼,有关他的钱的更近期来源的疑问在迅速累积。

But the more than 100,000 pages of records obtained during this investigation make it possible to sweep away decades of misinformation and arrive at a clear understanding about the original source of Mr. Trump’s wealth — his father.

但此次调查得到的超过10万页的文件使我们得以澄清几十年来的误导,让人们清楚地了解了特朗普财富最初的来源——他的父亲。

Here is what can be said with certainty: Had Mr. Trump done nothing but invest the money his father gave him in an index fund that tracks the Standard & Poor’s 500, he would be worth $1.96 billion today. As for that $1 million loan, Fred Trump actually lent him at least $60.7 million, or $140 million in today’s dollars, The Times found.

下面是可以确定的事实:如果特朗普什么都不做,只是把父亲给他的钱投到一个追踪标普500指数的指数基金的话,他今天的身价将会是19.6亿美元。至于那100万美元的借款,时报发现,弗雷德·特朗普实际上至少借给了唐纳德6070万,以今天的美元计算是1.4亿。

And there is one more Fred Trump windfall coming Donald Trump’s way. Starrett City, the Brooklyn housing complex that the Trumps invested in back in the 1970s, sold this year for $905 million. Donald Trump’s share of the proceeds is expected to exceed $16 million, records show.

唐纳德·特朗普还得到了一笔来自弗雷德·特朗普的意外之财。特朗普家族在1970年代投资在布鲁克林修建的住宅项目斯塔雷特城,今年以9.05亿美元售出。记录显示,唐纳德·特朗普可从收益中分得的份额预计超过1600万美元。

It was an investment made with Fred Trump’s money and connections. But in Donald Trump’s version of his life, Starrett City is always and forever “one of the best investments I ever made.”

这是一笔用弗雷德·特朗普的钱和人脉做的投资。但是在唐纳德·特朗普讲述的他的人生故事里,斯塔雷特城一直、永远是“我做过的最好的投资之一”。

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