A small business owner sold Donald Trump pianos for his Atlantic City casino.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 19, 2016
Trump stiffed him for the payment.https://t.co/9LMPenOZue
A retired piano dealer has accused GOP nominee Donald Trump of paying him late and cheating him out of a lot of money almost three decades ago.
J. Michael Diehl, now 89, the owner of Freehold Music Center, said he won a bid in 1989 to supply and tune eight grand pianos to Trump’s new Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. Understandably, Diehl was overjoyed to get a contract of $100,000 but was wary of deferred payment. His lawyer, however, assured him that Trump would make the payment on time. Diehl listened to his advice, which later proved to be a huge mistake.
The Trump organization refused to pay him for months citing financial difficulties and when he finally did receive the money, it was only $70,000. The loss of 30 percent of his income was a huge blow for the piano dealer and his family (which included five children), who were banking on Trump’s big contract to take them through the year.
After paying the manufacturers, Diehl was left with very little.
“There was no money to help grow my business,” said Diehl. “I had fewer pianos in the showroom and a smaller advertising budget. Because of Trump, my store stagnated for a couple of years. It made me feel really bad, like I’d been taken advantage of. I was embarrassed.”
Diehl also said Trump’s claim that he only refuses to pay people who do unsatisfactory work is a lie.
“He’s always suggesting that the people who worked for him didn’t do the right job, didn’t complete their work on time, that something was wrong,” the former piano dealer said. “But I delivered quality pianos, tuned and ready to go. I did everything right. And then Trump cheated me. It’s a callous way to do business.”
Diehl’s story of being stiffed out of the money isn’t unique. A USA Today analysis in June revealed 60 lawsuits by ordinary Americans who say Trump refused to honor his business deals. The list include waiters, bartenders, painters, plumbers and even law firms who defended him against litigations.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka has backed his callous habits and said the number of dispute is insignificant compared to the amount of business her father does.
“We have hundreds of millions of dollars of construction projects underway. And we have, for the most part, exceptional contractors on them who get paid, and get paid quickly,” she told the newspaper. “But it would be irresponsible if my father paid contractors who did lousy work. And he doesn't do that.”
It’s obvious Trump has instilled the same values he has in his children as well, but it certainly puts into question whether a man who cheats and schemes his way through business deals is eligible to be president.