The Real Deal New York

Trump Tower superintendent allegedly ran kickback scheme

George Gjieli accused of trading jobs for bribes in 1990s

October 07, 2016 08:00AM

Donald Trump Trump Tower

From left: Donald Trump and Trump Tower

Donald Trump once hired a convicted felon as Trump Tower’s superintendent, who then allegedly ran a kickback scheme offering jobs for bribes in the 1990s.

Trump hired George Gjieli, an Albanian immigrant, in 1991. At that time, Gjieli had already served time in federal prison for attempting to bribe a treasury official with $100,000 in order to get a fellow Albanian out of jail.

Once at Trump tower, he allegedly accepted cash-filled envelopes in his office on the 29th floor under a kickback scheme. In an interview with the Associated Press, Gjieli denied the accusations, calling them “bullshit” made up by Romanian workers in the building. He also claims Trump TRData LogoTINY wrote him a letter of recommendation when he left Trump Tower in 2001.

The accusations are part of a 2004 lawsuit by the local labor union 32BJ on behalf of a fired worker at the building. The worker, Ioan Ghilduta, said in a deposition that he was forced to give Gjieli $1,000 and a gold crucifix in return for getting a job at the tower.

“Sure, all the guys pay the money,” he said. “It was a common practice when you get the job.”

Another worker, Gabriel Mitrea, told the AP that he gave Gjieli an envelope with $2,000 in cash to get the job. [AP via Crain’s]Konrad Putzier