The promoter of the failed Trump International Tower in Fort Lauderdale, Felix Sater, is accused of swindling the project out of millions, while allegedly paying $1.5 million to an associate with ties to the mafia, according to the Miami Herald. When Sater joined the Trump project he had already been charged in a securities scam with New York mob figures worth $40 million. However, Trump investors never knew about Sater’s criminal background because prosecutors successfully hid his records from the public after he became an FBI informant.
The Trump Tower sold for $100 million at auction in March. “Do you honestly think they [Trump investors] are going to invest in a project when you tell them that one of the people happens to have been involved with the mob? That’s insane,” said Joseph Altschul, a lawyer representing the Trump Tower investors. Sater was also charged and imprisoned in the 1990s for allegedly stabbing another broker in the face with the stem of a shattered margarita glass during a bar fight. [Miami Herald]