The Real Deal Miami

Trump takes stand in Fort Lauderdale trial

Developer says he never claimed to be lead builder of condo-hotel project

March 11, 2014 10:30AM

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Rendering of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Ft. Lauderdale and Donald Trump

Rendering of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Ft. Lauderdale and Donald Trump

Donald Trump finally testified in his own defense about claims that he defrauded buyers of a failed Fort Lauderdale condo-hotel.

The celebrity developer said he never claimed to be the lead builder of the project during Monday’s hearing in the Broward Circuit Court case, the Sun-Sentinel reported. Trump is a defendant in a lawsuit filed by Boston restaurant owner John Taglieri and Michael Goodson, who claim they only invested in the project because they believed Trump was the developer. Original developer SB Associates reached a deal with Trump to use his name to help promote the condo-hotel.

“It says in the contract documents who the developer is,” Trump said. He later acknowledged it would not have made sense for buyers like Taglieri and Goodson to close on their units after the real estate market collapsed last decade.

The 551 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard property is now owned by a partnership tied to Conrad Hilton. [Sun-Sentinel]Eric Kalis

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