Donald Trump’s success as a developer has more to do with screwing people than actually developing property. His MO is to contract with small local businesses, leaving them high and dry at the end of the contract to sue him for their final payment. The “business plan” seems to include an offer of pennies on the dollar for the remaining balance when a job is completed, or face years of court battled against his high-powered lawyers.
Such was the case for the small Doral, Florida shop known as “The Paint Shop.” The store’s owner, Juan Carlos Enriquez, decided he wasn’t going to just lay down and take it, opting instead to put his own attorneys to work for the nearly $35,000 left of the $200,000 contract he had with Trump’s company for materials to renovate the Trump National Doral Golf Course in Miami.
The reason Trump’s company decided not to pay is all-too-familiar these days. According to the lawsuit, they say they had “paid enough” despite having a contract. To a small business like The Paint Spot, the $34, 863 they were stiffed out of is a crushing blow. Enriquez wasn’t going to have it.
Circuit judge Jorge Cueto nearly sent the club into foreclosure last month until Trump’s company put the $34,000 lien against it into escrow. His final judgement was in favor of The Paint Spot, awarding Enriquez not just the money they were owed but all of their attorney’s fees, including a 75 percent “risk fee,” in part because the store’s lawyers took the risk of never being paid for the nearly 500 hours they billed for fighting Trump’s legal team for nearly four years.
Altogether the total judgement against Trump is for $282, 949. According to The Miami Herald:
“I’m happy I have a judgment,” said Juan Carlos Enriquez, owner of The Paint Spot. “But he [Trump] hasn’t paid yet.
“You know how he says he’ll surround himself with the greatest people if he is president? In this case, he might not be surrounded by the right people.”
If that’s a shot at Trump’s team of high-powered lawyers, it’s well deserved, Hopefully some of the other people who have had to settle for less while the “law and order” candidate skates with their money will find the courage to sue Trump’s company as well.
It shouldn’t be long before Trump blames the judgement on the judge being Hispanic. The honorable judge Cueto is a highly respected elected official in Miami, but that won’t matter. Trump will call for his deportation and appeal the decision to a whiter court.
Featured image via Yelp