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Author: Don Obrien

Donald Trump’s Turnberry firm severs ties with finance chief


Allen Weisselberg, who is facing allegations of tax fraud in the US, has ceased to be listed as a “personal with significant control” over Golf Recreation Scotland Limited, the corporate entity behind Donald Trump’s Turnberry golf and hotel resort.

An update on the Companies House website states that there has been a “cessation” of Mr Weisselberg as a person with significant control over the firm.

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It emerged in July that Mr Weisselberg, who has previously described himself as Trump’s “eyes and ears,” was no longer someone with significant control over Trump International Golf Club Scotland, the company which oversees Mr Trump’s inaugural golf resort in Aberdeenshire.

But The Scotsman has learned that Mr Weisselberg, who has worked for the Trump Organisation for nearly five decades, parted ways with the Turnberry firm some weeks earlier.

The Companies House update specifies that the change took place on 25 June, some six days before he attended an arraignment hearing at a Manhattan court.

It has only been made public today, with a more detailed document expected to follow in the coming week.

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‘Reasonable questions’ over financing of Donald Trump’s Scottish resorts, court …

Allen Weisselberg leaves Manhattan Criminal Court in July. Picture: Michael M. Santiago/Getty

It leaves Donald Trump Jr as the only person listed as having significant control over Golf Recreation Scotland. His younger brother, Eric, is the firm’s sole director.

In July, the Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr, brought an indictment against the Trump Organisation and Mr Weisselberg over what Mr Vance said was a 15 year-long scheme to avoid local, state, and federal taxes in the US.

Prosecutors say the scheme helped executives evade taxes by giving benefits, such as rent and school fees, that were hidden from the authorities.

Both the Trump Organisation and Mr Weisselberg have pleaded not guilty.

Mr Trump’s Scottish properties have incurred losses of more than £55m under his ownership, and owe £157m to US-based limited liability companies and trusts in his name.

In January, the Turnberry firm posted annual losses of £2.3m, marking the sixth year in a row it has failed to turn a profit under the 75-year-old, meaning that it has yet to pay a penny in corporation tax in the UK.

On Wednesday, the Court of Session heard the concluding day of a judicial review into the Scottish Government’s refusal to pursue an Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) against Mr Trump and his Scottish companies.

The review has been brought by Avaaz, a US-based non-profit activism organisation, which argues that there are “no reasonable grounds” to suspect that known sources of lawfully obtained income would have been sufficient to bankroll Mr Trump’s acquisition of the properties in South Ayrshire in Aberdeenshire.

A UWO, sometimes referred to as a ‘McMafia’ order, allows authorities to target suspected corrupt foreign officials who have potentially laundered stolen money through the UK.

The civil power is designed to force the owners of assets to disclose their wealth. If an official, or their family, cannot prove a legitimate source for their riches, authorities can go to court to seize property.

Lord Sandison said he would issue judgement as soon as reasonably practicable.

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Oliver Bolt

Oliver Bolt

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