A former Philadelphia mob boss claims in a new biography that he was involved in negotiations with Donald Trump when the former president was building his empire in Atlantic City.
Billy D’Elia, who was known as ‘Big Billy’ when he ran the Buffalino crime family beginning in the mid-1990s, shared with journalist Matt Birkbeck how Trump once cut $1 million from a deal to buy the land. for his Trump Plaza Hotel. and Casino.
On another occasion, D’Elia said, the presidential candidate made him buy millions of copies of his book Art of the Deal to propel it up the best-seller lists in exchange for the timeshare sale.
‘[He’s] as it is on TV now, arrogant,’ said D’Elia Fox News. He doesn’t keep his word.
But Trump has never been charged with any criminal offenses related to his dealings with casinos, and he exceeded the legal requirements to own and operate casinos in Atlantic City, which are regulated by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission and its Division of Enforcement. Games.
A spokesperson for the Trump 2024 campaign also denied wrongdoing in a statement to FOX, saying it “is not going to dignify a response to a book that falls into the fiction section bargain bin.”
DailyMail.com has also contacted the campaign for comment.
Billy D’Elia, who once ran the Philadelphia-based Buffalino crime family, told FOX News how he met former President Donald Trump when he was building his casino empire in Atlantic City.
Trump, pictured at one of his casinos in an undated photo, built his empire of three casinos on the Jersey shore in less than two decades.
The former president has long touted his success in Atlantic City, even writing about it in his bio and flaunting his business acumen on the campaign trail leading up to the 2016 presidential election.
He had built his empire of three casinos on the Jersey shore in less than two decades. They included the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, the Trump Marina Hotel and Casino, and the Trump Taj Mahal.
At its peak, Trump-owned casinos accounted for nearly a third of Atlantic City’s gambling revenue and employed more than 8,000 people, according to the New York Times.
But journalist Birkbeck, who spent decades covering the Buffalino crime family, says the former president built his empire by dealing with the mob.
“Trump, when he did big deals, he didn’t want his capes to do it. He didn’t want anyone else to do it, he did it himself and he did it with gangsters,’ Birkbeck told FOX News as he released his new book The Life We Chose: William “Big Billy” D’Elia and the Last Secrets of the Mob Family. most powerful in the United States.
“Billy did business with a lot of people, including Donald Trump,” he said of the one-time boss of the Buffalino crime family who took over in 1994 after the death of Russel Buffalino (played by Joe Pesci on Netflix’s The Irishman). ).
“Trump knew exactly who he was, Trump knew exactly what he was doing and exactly what they were negotiating about.”
Speaking to FOX News, D’Elia said Trump never kept his word when he shared how the former president once made him buy millions of copies of The Art of The Deal in exchange for timeshares.
D’Elia took control of the Buffalino crime family following the death of Russel Buffalino (who was played by Joe Pesci on Netflix’s The Irishman).
Trump’s Atlantic City casinos included the Trump Marina Hotel and Casino and the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino
In a deal related to the sale of time-shares for Trump’s casinos, Birkbeck writes, the future president asked D’Elia to buy millions of copies of The Art of the Deal.
“They used to give these rewards and giveaways to timeshare people, and one of the gifts would be a copy of the book, only Billy had to buy the book,” Birkbeck explained.
‘He had to buy 5,000 or 10,000 copies of the book, which would put the book on the best-seller lists. Basically, Billy would have to put up $100,000.’
In another deal, D’Elia said Trump agreed to buy property for his Trump Plaza casino but backed out of the deal, only to settle it with a coin toss.
Journalist Matt Birkbeck details Trump’s dealings with the Buffalino crime family in his new biography
The former mob boss, who spent five years in prison after pleading guilty to money laundering conspiracy and witness tampering in 2009, said he attended a meeting with Trump and Philadelphia-based real estate developers Barry and Ken Shapiro. , property owners. .
Trump had reportedly agreed to buy the land for $8 million, but when he appeared at the meeting, he claimed it was too high a price to pay.
“Trump said he couldn’t give him the $8 million, he only had seven,” D’Elia said. ‘So what do you do now, wait?
“We’re in this meeting with Trump, and Barry said, ‘Let’s flip a coin for the other million.’ Trump said ‘fine,’ so they flipped a coin and Trump won.”
Barry Shapiro corroborated that story to FOX News, saying his group agreed to sell the Atlantic City property to Trump for $1 million less than the price Trump originally agreed to, and that the coin toss decided that.
“The sale price was actually $8 million, and Trump only paid $7 because he flipped a coin with my brother, Ken, to save $1 million,” the 85-year-old said.
“We gave him a 15-year mortgage and he paid it off,” Barry added.
This is not the first time that the former president has been said to have relied on the toss of a coin in a trade negotiation.
In 2017, Wall Street investment banker Ken Moelis said Business Insider that in the middle of a negotiation, Trump ‘looks at me and says, ‘We’re a million dollars apart,’ and he says, ‘I’ll tell you something, I’ll turn you around for that.’” And he reached into his pocket and took out a coin.
Moelis said he personally examined the coin to make sure it was legitimate, and when Trump tossed it, it “flew across the table at Trump, which he instantly knew was a mistake… but before he could take a look, Trump picked it up.” She got up and said, “Heads you lose.”
Moelis is now a billionaire investment banker, who has been described as the businessman who “launched Trump’s casinos on the stock market.”
Trump no longer owns any property in Atlantic City, with the closure of the Taj Mahal in 2016
But Trump’s casino empire is no more, following a series of bankruptcy filings that cost the stock and borrowers more than $1.5 billion.
The slide began just over a year after the Trump Taj Mahal opened in 1990, when the Republican presidential nominee failed to pay off his $900 million debt and had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to the Times.
He lost about half his interest in the casino and had to sell his private yacht and plane to help pay off his losses.
Trump Plaza also began losing money in the early 1990s, filing for bankruptcy in November 1992.
In a deal, the banks took a 49 percent stake in the casino in exchange for more favorable terms on the $500 million debt it owed.
Eventually, the Philadelphia Magazine Trump reportedly consolidated his three Atlantic City casinos under the publicly traded Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, which bought the Taj Mahal and Trump Castle (later renamed Trump Marina Hotel and Casino) in 1996.
But problems persisted as much of the gaming and entertainment industry flocked to Las Vegas, and in 2004, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts Inc. filed for bankruptcy with $1.8 billion in debt.
After the restructuring, Trump’s shares were reduced to 28 percent.
That failed to save the casinos, however, and just five years later, it filed for bankruptcy again with $50 million in assets and $500 million in debt.
Trump eventually resigned from the board of Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts Inc., ending up with just 10 percent of the company when it emerged from bankruptcy.
Now, there are no Trump-owned properties in Atlantic City anymore, and the Taj Mahal was sold in 2016. It is now the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel.