Donald Trump broke anti-discrimination laws to keep a mob boss gambling at his casinos
Police transcripts of a secretly wired conversation between one of Donald Trump’s top Atlantic City executives and Robert Libutti, a deceased mob figure with ties to John Gotti, purport that the presidential candidate had “very close” ties to the criminal despite previous public denials of their relationship.
Libutti, a nationally famous horse breeder with a known temper, gambled millions of dollars at Trump’s casinos throughout the ’80s and early ’90s. In 1991, Trump’s ties to Libutti came under investigation when nine employees of the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City alleged that the casino violated anti-discrimination at Libutti’s request. The investigation found that Libutti had used racist and misogynist language to complain about the presence of blacks and women working his tables. Instead of removing him from the premises, the casino obliged his demands to make sure there were no “women, blacks or other minorities dealing or supervising his games.” As per Yahoo News:
[Libutti] referred to one Trump Plaza floor person as a “dumb c***” and “dumb bitch,” another as a “Jew broad” and an African-American dealer as a “black bastard.” Finding himself playing with an African-American at his craps table, LiButti shouted, “Shoot the f***ing dice. Shoot the f***ing dice like you’re f***ing some n*****,” according to testimony in the case.
Trump ended up being fined $200,000 for violating anti-discrimination laws over the probe. He denied any personal connection with Libutti though, telling the Philadelphia Inquirer at the time, “I have heard he is a high roller, but if he was standing here in front of me, I wouldn’t know what he looked like.”
However, a wire-tapped conversation between Libutti and Edward M. Tracy, a Trump CEO, suggests otherwise. New Jersey State Police secretly wired Tracy upon learning that the horse breeder had secured a lucrative deal for his brother-in-law, Jimmy Roselli, to sing at Trump Plaza. In the conversation, Libutti said he was “very close” with Trump, having flown with the real estate mogul in his helicopter. He also mentioned that Trump personally gave him $350,000 after a bad night at one of his casinos to keep the high stakes roller visiting and gambling.
In the tape, Libutti repeatedly referenced his connections to mob boss John Gotti in an effort to pressure Tracy into paying Roselli an additional $250,000 for his singing services. Calling the threats “chilling,” the state assistant attorney general motioned to bar Libutti from New Jersey casinos because of his ties to Gotti. In addition to the $200,000 the Casino Control Commission had already fined Trump in the anti-discrimination probe, the CCC fined $450,000 Trump Plaza “for buying LiButti nine luxury autos, including Ferraris, Bentleys and Rolls-Royces worth $1.6 million, that he then exchanged for cash, a violation of state laws at the time that barred cash comps for high rollers.” In addition, Yahoo News reports:
Documents from the case show that the Trump Plaza also provided LiButti with other “comps” that included paying $104,338 for five European vacations and one to California; $279,978 for tickets to the Super Bowl, boxing matches and other sporting and theater events; $121,712 for jewelry; and $40,020 for Champagne that included 178 bottles of Cristal Rosé, valued at $225 a bottle.
Libutti’s daughter, Edith Creamer, also backs up reports of Trump’s close relationship with the mob figure, calling him “a liar” for misrepresenting the nature of their friendship.
“Of course he knew him,” Creamer said. “I flew in the [Trump] helicopter with [Trump’s then wife] Ivana and the kids. My dad flew it up and down [to Atlantic City]. My 35th birthday party was at the Plaza and Donald was there. After the party, we went on his boat, his big yacht. I like Trump, but it pisses me off that he denies knowing my father. That hurts me.”
According to the book, “Trumped!: The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump,” written by former president of the Trump Plaza casino John R. O’Donnell, Trump also once arranged to buy a horse from Libutti for $500,000. The two discussed the deal on Trump’s private helicopter, and Trump insisted the horse would be renamed “D.J. Trump,” but the deal eventually fell through when the horse became ill.
“Mr. Trump never owned a racehorse,” a Trump spokesperson told Yahoo. “He vaguely remembers someone naming a racehorse after him.”
[Yahoo | Photo: Getty]