The majority of real estate properties sold by President Trump’s corporations since he clinched the Republican nomination for president have been purchased by shell companies, a new investigation has found.
USA Today spent six months analyzing the transactions of every real estate property that Trump and his companies own and found that 70 percent of purchasers were shell companies, which allow people to buy property without revealing the buyer’s name.
Only four percent of the buyers used shell companies in the two years before, according to the newspaper.
Trump’s businesses have sold $33 million in properties since Election Day last November, including 28 properties spanning New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, according to the report.
Profits from the sale of the properties go into a trust that is managed by Trump’s sons, but which Trump is the sole beneficiary and can withdraw money from at his pleasure.
The newspaper used public records to attempt to identify the buyers behind some of the transactions, which included a conservative blogger in Canada, a French-owned investment firm and a Bangladeshi author.
The report comes as Trump was slapped with a lawsuit from the attorneys general of Washington, D.C. and Maryland on Monday alleging the president has violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution, barring elected officials from receiving personal gifts and payments.