Donald Trump, Trumps Little Old Lady From Chicago

05/24/2013 | Financial Fraud

Chicagoans pride their hometown on being the “City of Broad Shoulders,” but that was not enough to hold back the Donald in a dispute over the new Trump International Hotel & Tower along the narrow Chicago River in the heart of downtown.

The dispute began when Jacqueline Goldberg, an 87-year-old grandmother from suburban Evanston, Illinois, sued Trump and his company.  Her suit contended that Trump violated the terms of an agreement where Mrs. Goldberg would purchase condominiums in the building in exchange for a portion of the profits generated.

Trump’s lawyers countered that the agreement included a clause that said he could cancel the profit-sharing agreement at will.  The jury ultimately sided with Trump, agreeing that he had the power to unilaterally alter the terms of the contract.

While the allegations in the Complaint sound dramatic enough (supposedly Trump swindled an old lady out of millions), the real drama was what unfolded in and out of the courtroom.  In two days of tense back and forth on the witness stand, Trump boasted about the quality of his deluxe developments and verbally sparred with Shelly Kulwin, Goldberg’s attorney.

When asked by reporters to comment on the case, Trump lashed out at the image of Mrs. Goldberg as a victim, saying she was a savvy investor who knew “exactly what she was getting into” when she signed up to purchase the condos, and that “she should be ashamed of herself” for bringing this lawsuit.

Goldberg, on the other hand, left the courtroom in a surprisingly upbeat mood despite just losing a multi-million dollar case.  She claimed she has “no regrets” for bringing suit, and that she is happy because “I have exposed him for what he is.”

After hearing about Goldberg’s post-trial quote from reporters, Trump scoffed and said “she's not glad she took me on, because she lost.”  In the world of the Donald, if you’re not first, you’re fired.