Donald Trump has been accused of tax fraud by a Mexican government official, who has filed the suit as a private citizen. The complaint was filed by Jaime Martínez Veloz over the Trump Ocean Resort (in Tijuana), which closed up shop in 2009. Martinez, who is a former member of Mexico’s Congress and is now a mid-level government official, filed a federal criminal tax fraud complaint against Trump for the failed real estate project in Tijuana.
Martinez alleges that the project avoided paying taxes in the country on pre-development sales of $32.5 million. Along with partners Irongate Wilshire and P.B. Impulsores, Trump Ocean Resort began selling properties in 2006, but before construction even began, the project was folded in 2009. The Hill reports that the group collected $32.5 million from customers before they even struck ground.
Trump’s tax records have elusively loomed this election season, as people want to learn more, but can’t seem to pin them down. He has bragged about not paying taxes, the New York Times uncovered his 1995 $916 million loss, and the Times recently revealed he may have used a “legally dubious method” to avoid paying federal taxes for decades. And similar woes may have gone international with these allegations out of Mexico.
It’s not known if Trump received any of the $32.5 million, but Irongate Wilshire and P.B. Impulsores returned $7.5 million to the purchasers. Because Martinez is a private citizen, under Mexican law, the complaint is taken directly to prosecutors rather than the the police. And he made sure to single out Trump specifically in his complaint while adding, “By Mr. Donald Trump against the Mexican state because beyond defrauding investors he also committed fraud by not paying taxes in Mexico for the mercantile operations he took part in.”
The Trump campaign has not commented on this recent filing, but Trump and the Trump Organization previously said he simply “leased his name to the project, and was not directly involved in the development.” This is also not the first time he has been at the center of legal action in Mexico. In 2007, he agreed to hold his Miss Universe pageant in Mexico, but the deal went south. And The Donald himself has tweeted that he doesn’t plan on making any more deals in Mexico.
The Donald Trump and Mexico feud may continue well past the election.