By Shannon Barber / 09.14.2016
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump touts his business prowess as his number one reason he will be great for working people should he be elected President of the United States. However, thanks to a group of creditors that Trump stiffed while he was busy destroying Atlantic City’s economy we are now privy to a very different story than the one Trump’s been peddling on the campaign trail.
We all know that Trump built extravagant and ridiculously gaudy and expensive casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This meant hiring many contractors to put the places together. One such contractor was Forest Jenkins, father of Beth Rosser, who was interviewed with others in similar positions on Anderson Cooper 360.
Rosser says, “It was like we won the lottery,” when her father landed a $200,000 contract to help install toilet partitions in the Taj Mahal casino. Forest’s son, Steven Jenkins, echo’s Rosser’s claims, saying, “It was a big job. It was great. We were all excited. I had the fuzz from those carpets on the wheels of my dolly for months after that job.”
However, things quickly went downhill for the small business when Trump didn’t pay them. Steven says of the devastating loss:
“We weren’t this big company. We didn’t have tons of money in an account somewhere to cover things.”
The company was Forest Jenkins’ life’s work, and he made it grow from the ground up. Trump’s stiffing them almost cost them all that work though. Luckily, they somehow survived, and Beth and Steven now operate the company since their father’s passing. Trump stiffed the Jenkins family in 1988, and then he filed bankruptcy on the Taj Mahal three years later and ran off with millions.
Trump owed the Jenkins family $231,000, and they only got $70,000 – and that was only after a years long court battle trying to force Trump to pay up. Beth Rosser says of her feelings regarding Trump today:
“It’s 27 years later. I grit my teeth every time I see him on television blustering about what a wonderful businessman he is. He stepped on a lot of people.”
Of course, the Jenkins’ story is only the beginning. Nat Hymen is also a victim of Donald Trump. In 1996, Hymen went into the snake’s den when he managed to land a plum of a spot to begin selling jewelry from his fledgling company – a kiosk in a great spot right in Trump Tower. After having success with his new company, Landau Jewelry, in Trump Tower, Hymen was able to expand into Trump’s casinos. That’s when the trouble started.
Trump began making baseless claims that Hyman was selling shoddy products, and to that end tried to force him to leave Trump Tower and go other places where he would never be able to make a living. When Hyman refused to give up the spot in the Trump Tower lobby, Trump lashed out by pulling the plug on Hymen’s ability to set up shop in the casinos. He also wound up having Trump’s lawyers sicced on him. Hyman says of his ordeal:
“I think I spent over a million dollars in litigation with him. I tried to stand up to him everywhere I could but it’s exhausting, and it’s silly. To him, it’s a sport. To him, it’s fun.”
After Hyman was finally done with his spot in Trump Tower, of course, he was replaced with Trump’s own merchandise.
Paul Friel’s family business is another that fell into the black hole that is working with Donald Trump. His family was hired to install structures for slots machines, desks, and the like in one of Trump’s casinos. However – surprise, surprise – Trump bought the contract out from under the general contractor he had hired and refused to pay. Paul Friel is the company’s founder’s grandson, and says his father lost his business over what Donald Trump did. He says of the experience:
“We had already worked for three (general contractors), and every single one of them lived up to their word until Donald Trump came to Atlantic City.”
That’s not all, either – Trump used his pull in Atlantic City to blackball the company, and it worked, despite their stellar reputation. After attempting to deal with being taken for a ride by Trump, the elder Friel’s company went bankrupt. Paul Friel says:
“I think it surprised him the most that Donald Trump had blackballed him … even though we had an excellent name in Atlantic City.
He was devastated. The fact that we had seen such a huge future in Atlantic City for his business that all of a sudden because of one deal … his business in Atlantic City was done.”
Edward Friel died in 2006, but Paul Friel is determined to be his voice. He says of his late father:
“He would say, ‘Paul, do this for us…let the country know what kind of man this is.”
Donald Trump often brags about his business record, but some small business owners say his tactics cost them. https://t.co/tZMS6nRFwI
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) September 14, 2016
Also, I guarantee you that these are not the only ones Trump stiffed. They are just the only ones brave enough to speak out. After all, speaking out against Donald Trump has had disastrous consequences for many people. They have a right to be afraid. However, if these stories are any indication, I think we can all pretty much figure that the only person Donald Trump cares about is Donald Trump, and it would an absolute national emergency to put the future of our nation and the free world in his hands.