Timeline of Trump SoHo’s scandals20:39 13.10.2018
Trump SoHo is an embarrassing blight on Donald Trump’s New York real estate portfolio. Mired in lawsuits over its financing and occupancy, the hotel and condo building maintains a non-residential classification, which limits owners to living there in 29-day stints, with a cap of 120 total days a year. After years of low sales, further exacerbated by Donald Trump’s run for president and unpopularity in Manhattan, the Trump Organization pulled out of the project, and the building was renamed “The Dominick.”
1991: Felix Sater, a young Soviet-born stockbroker, stabs a man in the face with a broken margarita glass, for which he is convicted of felony assault and spends a year in prison.
1998: Sater pleads guilty to one count of racketeering in a Russian Mafia-linked $40 million stock manipulation scheme.
2002: Sater joins real estate company Bayrock, based out of Trump Tower New York, controlled by its founder Tevfik Arif, the Soviet-born Turkish real estate developer.
June 5, 2006: Donald Trump announces the Trump SoHo project on the season finale of The Apprentice.
August 2007: Despite Sater’s criminal history and status as a principal of Bayrock at the time, Trump SoHo files an offering plan with the state of New York that said there were “no prior felony convictions of Sponsor [the Bayrock/Sapir Organization], or any principals of Sponsor.”
Sept. 19, 2007: Trump, Arif, and Sater attend the Trump SoHo launch party.
Dec. 17, 2007: As Trump SoHo finishes construction, a story detailing Sater’s criminal past runs in the New York Times.
January 2008: Sater, a convicted felon, indicates he is a partner at Bayrock, despite the August filing that claimed no sponsors or principals at Bayrock were felons.
September 2008: Donald Trump Jr. says, “In terms of high-end product influx into the U.S., Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets; say in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
2010: Sater becomes a “Senior Adviser to Donald Trump” for a year, with an email account and office at the Trump Organization.
May 10, 2010: Former Bayrock Group finance director Jody Kriss brings the first of several lawsuits against his former employers alleging tax evasion and money laundering.
Aug. 2, 2010: A group of 15 condo buyers at Trump SoHo sues because they were told that 30% to 60% of the units had already been sold when they decided to purchase, when in actuality they had sold just 15% of the condos.
Sept. 28, 2010: Arif is arrested in Turkey on suspicion of running a prostitution ring with nine young women, two of whom were 16 years old, aboard a yacht.
Nov. 5, 2013: Trump, during a sworn deposition, claims he would not Felix Sater if he were sitting in a room with him.
Nov. 15, 2017: Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) sends a letter to Sater requesting his testimony, all documents related to his payment by the Trump Organization since January 2015, and all his documents related to Trump, Russia, and their communications.
Nov. 22, 2017: The Trump Organization announces its exit from the Trump SoHo Hotel because of dropping sales in the wake of the 2016 election.
Dec. 21, 2017: Trump SoHo is rebranded “The Dominick.”
Feb. 22, 2018: Bayrock Group agrees in principle to settle Kriss’ 2010 lawsuit.