Forbes: Secret Las Vegas sales enriching Trump

trump secret revenue stream
Steve Jurvetson CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
trump secret revenue stream
Steve Jurvetson CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Donald Trump has been raking in money by selling condos in Las Vegas, and the buyers are secret, according to a report published in Forbes Friday.

In Las Vegas, the president sold 36 units for $11 million inside his … tower, which he owns in a 50-50 partnership with casino tycoon Phil Ruffin, according to an analysis of the latest public records. Trump’s cut of those deals amounted to an estimated $5.5 million before taxes. One-third of the Las Vegas condo customers purchased their units through limited liability companies, a move that allows buyers to shield their true identities.

In other words, people were pumping cash into the president’s coffers without disclosing who they were.

The Forbes story also notes a USA Today investigation from 2017 highlighting a spike in sales of Trump’s real estate to shell companies. That investigation also listed several sales of condos in Trump’s Las Vegas tower.

The 2017 USA Today story also noted that shell companies set up in Nevada were used by secret buyers purchasing property from Trump.

Nevada is known internationally for infamously lax incorporation laws that allow anyone — including, terrorists, sex traffickers, arms dealers, or people hoping to curry favor with a president — to set up a shell company, not only to mask their identity, but also to avoid taxes or launder money.

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.


  1. Not sure what the issue is. Trump has been trying to sell the condos since long before he decided to run for office. He still has to pay back the construction loans with the proceeds. It is not even clear he is making any money off of these sales. I am not a fan of Trump or him profiting from his office, but this article is implying there is something shady without any smoke.

  2. Are you implying that anyone who buys real estate using an LLC is a criminal? I’m sure Steve Wynn’s name isn’t on title for his new purchase? Why don’t you look up how the VGK players bought their homes…Safety and security is one of the countless other legitate reasons to a have an LLC on title. Seems like a political hit piece…Trump gives you more than enough ammo for that. This ones a stretch.


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