Report: Trump’s failed condos and resorts lost hundreds their money while he made millions
Among Donald Trump’s failed businesses are real estate developments where buyers were left holding the bag.
When Stephenee Simms heard in 2006 that Donald Trump was building condo towers in Baja, the lure of a posh weekend getaway on the rustic coast just south of Tijuana was hard to resist.
Simms, then an aerospace purchasing agent living in Canoga Park, said she used her life savings to pay a deposit of just over $50,000 for unit No. 602, a one-bedroom overlooking the Pacific…
In the end, nothing at all was built at Trump Ocean Resort, and Simms lost her money. As did about 250 other buyers, most of them from Southern California.
All told, two years of aggressive marketing yielded $32.5 million in buyer deposits, every bit of it spent by the time Trump and his partners abandoned the project in early 2009 as the global economy was reeling. Most of the buyers sued them for fraud.
The Trump Baja fiasco fits a pattern in the Republican presidential candidate’s business record. Over decades of building a business empire in real estate, casino gaming, golf resorts, reality television and the sale of clothing and other merchandise, Trump has left a long trail of angry customers and vendors who accused him in court of cheating them.
Condo buyers at troubled Trump towers in Tampa and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., claimed in lawsuits that they too were misled and lost deposits. Students at the defunct Trump University say in fraud suits that they wasted money on worthless real-estate training. Trump’s string of business bankruptcies has stuck suppliers with unpaid bills and banks with uncollectible debts.
Trump has denied wrongdoing in every case, and he argues in the campaign that his success as a businessman qualifies him to run the country.