By Larry Shea
When Don Trump chose to use the cheaper building material of ready-mix concrete instead of structural steel, for the erection of his Trump Tower, he knowingly put himself at the mercy of a lucrative Mafia cartel. As a result, the Don had no choice but to deal with the four New York Mafia crime families that controlled all contracts on the delivery of concrete that were worth more than $2 million. Don Trump reportedly shelled out $22 million on the concrete used to build Trump Tower. Mob racketeers also controlled all of trade unions that were essential to the fabrication of the concrete for the tower. The Don’s mentor, the notorious and “reprehensible” mob lawyer, Roy Cohn, was the fixer who kept things running smoothly for Trump. Cohn even arranged for a meeting, at his law office, for Trump and the Genovese crime family head, “Fat Tony” Salerno, who was the boss of the concrete cartel. An insurance executive, closely involved with the construction of Trump Tower, quipped that, “A lot of the time it cost money under the table.”
Take the Don’s longtime friend and business associate, Joey “No Socks” Cinque. In an article, entitled the Preppy Don (April 17, 1995, issue of New York magazine), Joey “No Socks” is described as “a small-time mobster, a scam artist, and an art fence,” who “used to be friends with” the infamous, NYC Gambino family crime boss, John Gotti. The NYPD had to use a battering ram to serve a search warrant on Joey, because he wouldn’t open the front door for them. Mr. Cinque has a felony conviction for the possession of stolen artwork. A “confidential source,” told the NYC District Attorney’s office, that “No Socks” was “dealing drugs out of his apartment and fencing stolen artwork.” Some ladies claimed that Joey Cinque was exchanging cocaine for “time” with them.
But these days “No Socks” has gone strictly legit’, if you can call dishing out meaningless gold-plated plaques to hotels and restaurants for exorbitant fees legitimate. In a 2009 tribute video to “No Socks”, The Don stated that, “There’s nobody like him. He’s a special guy.” So, why would Donald Trump tell the Associated Press (on May 20. 2016) that, “he doesn’t know Cinque very well and was unaware of his criminal conviction?” In 2013, “No Socks” traveled all the way to Scotland to honor the Don’s golf course with a bogus six diamonds award for being “The best golf course in the world.” You can see the photo and read the story on the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences own website. (Chicago Tribune, May 20, 2016). In fact, as recently as May of 2015, Don Trump was listed as “ambassador Extraordinaire” for The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences, of which Mr. “No Socks” is the CEO and president. In fact, “At one point, Trump’s two adult sons; the chief operating officer of the Trump Organization, Matthew Calamari; and Trump’s longtime butler, Anthony Senecal, all served as trustees simultaneously” for the academy, which an AAA spokesman blandly describes as “primarily a marketing program.”
Lift another rock and you will find the convicted drug trafficker Joseph Weichselbaum. This Joey was Don Trump’s main helicopter guy, who managed a service that flew high rollers to and from the Don’s Trump Plaza and Trump Castle casinos in Atlantic City, NJ. Reliable witnesses have claimed that in the 1980s cocaine flowed during wild parties at both of Trump’s Atlantic City casinos. According to one senior law enforcement official there was a “large-scale investigation of the distribution of drugs in some Atlantic City casinos (Spy magazine June, 1991: Pal Joey, Business). Joey Weichselbaum was the general manager for the helicopter service, Damin Aviation, which had a history of bankruptcies and re-organizations and was controlled by a consortium of sharp businessmen that included Joey “W’s” brother Frank and two of Frank’s in-laws
Wouldn’t you know, the Don’s pal, Joey “W”, was convicted by the feds, in 1987, for smuggling large amounts of cocaine and marijuana (1,500 lb.), which he had obtained from Colombian traffickers. According to the indictment, Colombian couriers would deliver the drugs to Joey “W’s” used car dealership, Bradford Motors, in Miami, which was essentially a front for drug trafficking. There, the drugs would either be sold on the spot or delivered to customers in courier driven vehicles (David Cay Johnston, The Making of Donald Trump: Ch.8, “Showing Mercy.”). As far as pal Joey’s mob connections go, a Florida police detective stated, “I was convinced they were pretty big.” Joey “W”, who had already been found guilty of grand theft auto in 1965 and of embezzlement in 1979, now faced a twenty-year stretch in federal prison. Don Trump wrote a character reference to the sitting federal judge, after his sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, had to recuse herself from Joey’s case. The Don characterized this “victim” of the war on drugs as, “a credit to the community” and as “conscientious, forthright, diligent, and a pretty nice guy.”
So, did Don Trump finance any of his pal Joey “W’s” drug trafficking and/or launder any of his pal’s drug dollars through either or both his Jersey casinos? Was there a criminal partnership? In 2015, Trump’s “Taj Mahal casino was fined $10 million – the highest penalty ever leveled by the feds against a casino – and admitted to having ‘willfully violated’ anti-money laundering regulations for years.’” (“Trump’s Russian Laundromat”, Craig Unger; The New Republic -online).
“A review of the public records reveals a clear and disturbing pattern: Trump owes much of his business success, and by extension his presidency, to a flow of highly suspicious money from Russia… at least 13 people with known or alleged links to Russian mobsters or oligarchs have owned, lived in, and even run criminal activities from Trump Tower and other Trump properties. Many used his casinos and apartments to launder untold millions in dirty money.” (ibid.). As a former federal investigator quipped: “They saved his bacon!”