Trump’s NJ golf club liquor licenses are in Jr.’s name. Hiding behind his son isn’t helping as the state moves to revoke.

    Donald Trump at his Bedminster golf club last year.

    Seth Wenig/AP

    The liquor licenses for Donald Trump’s New Jersey golf clubs are all in his eldest son’s name.That, however, may not be enough to protect the clubs now that Trump is a felon.NJ officials now say Trump’s criminal record bars him from profiting from liquor licenses.

    The liquor licenses for Donald Trump’s three New Jersey golf courses are in his eldest son’s name, not his own, according to records obtained by Business Insider.

    But hiding behind Donald Trump, Jr. isn’t enough to protect the elder Trump.

    On Friday, state officials said Trump’s new felony record bars him from profiting from the licenses.

    They announced they will not renew the licenses for Trump National Bedminster and Trump National Golf Club in Colts Neck due to last month’s felony hush-money conviction.

    The two clubs can continue to serve alcohol pending a July 19 hearing on the two licenses, which expire Sunday.

    The liquor license at Trump’s third course, Trump National Philadelphia — located 45 minutes outside that city in Pine Hill, New Jersey — was renewed by that borough on June 3, just four days after his guilty verdict on 34 felony business-falsification counts.

    That license renewal went through at the last minute, thanks to an apparent happenstance of timing.

    Only after sentencing, set for July 11, could any New Jersey official disqualify Trump from holding a liquor license, a spokesperson for the state’s attorney general’s office explained.

    So far, no action has been taken by the state against the Pine Hill license.

    The letter New Jersey officials sent Donald Trump, Jr., notifying him that they will not automatically renew the liquor license for his father’s Bedminster golf course.

    NJ attorney general’s office/Business Insider

    New Jersey’s AG’s office regulates liquor licenses through its Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced two weeks ago that all three licenses were under review by his office.

    Trump, at that time, brushed off the importance of that review, noting through a spokesman that he is “not the holder of any liquor license in New Jersey, and he is not an officer or director of any entity that holds a liquor license in New Jersey — or anywhere in the United States for that matter.”

    But on Friday, New Jersey officials found otherwise.

    “A review by ABC indicates that Mr. Trump maintains a direct beneficial interest in the three liquor licenses through the receipt of revenues and profits from them, as the sole beneficiary of the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust,” the AG’s spokesperson said.

    Crimes of “moral turpitude”

    Under state liquor law, a license may be pulled if anyone who either owns — or financially benefits from — the license is convicted of a crime of “moral turpitude.”

    The licenses for Trump’s New Jersey clubs were at risk under both criteria, given his underlying financial interest in the clubs and his new criminal record, experts told Business Insider.

    Trump, by his own sworn testimony, is the sole financial beneficiary of the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust, the umbrella entity that owns all of the Trump Organization, including the three LLCs that hold the clubs’ liquor licenses.

    Trump was the sole trustee for a few months after leaving the White House, but then hopped back out in July 2021, leaving his eldest son as sole trustee as his criminal and civil investigations in New York, Georgia, Washington, DC and Florida intensified.

    Still, as he testified at his New York civil fraud trial in October that he Trump remained the “sole beneficiary” of the trust and its assets. That means as his liquor licenses prosper, so prospers Trump, in contrast with everyone else at Trump Org, who is just on salary.

    An excerpt from Donald Trump’s October, 2023 testimony in his New York civil fraud trial, in which says that he is the sole beneficiary of the trust that owns everything under the Trump Organization umbrella.

    New York Supreme Court/Business Insider

    Trump’s apparent failings in the moral-turpitude department also put him at risk.

    “Felony convictions are universally considered crimes of moral turpitude,” said Peter M. Rhodes, partner at the Haddonfield, New Jersey-based firm Cahill, Wilinski, Rhodes & Joyce.

    Given his felony conviction, “If the license is owned by a trust whose sole beneficiary is Donald Trump, then that, in my opinion, violates the ABC laws,” said Rhodes, whose firm has served for 50 years as counsel to the New Jersey Licensed Beverage Association.

    Trump’s three New Jersey licenses are owned by LLCs, and Trump’s namesake son is the president and license signatory for each one, according to records reviewed by BI.

    Donald Trump, Jr.’s signature on the most recent liquor license for his father’s golf course in Bedminster, NJ.

    New Jersey attorney general’s office/BI

    The last time Trump almost lost all three of his New Jersey licenses was in 2021.

    That year, Trump was allowed to keep the licenses after more than five years fighting state officials following a club-goer’s 2015 fatal drunken driving crash.

    State officials said a golfer at the Colts Neck club was overserved by one of the club’s roving, liquor-serving golf carts. The golfer hopped a curb and flipped his Mini-Cooper while driving home, in a crash that ejected and killed his own father.

    Trump’s three Jersey golf courses ultimately kept their licenses under a deal struck with Platkin’s predecessor, former Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, who left office shortly after approving the settlement.

    The Colts Neck course agreed under the settlement to only serve alcohol indoors, to provide service training to employees, and to pay a $400,000 fine.

    The final $100,000 installment on that fine is due in October, records reviewed by BI showed.

    The arrangement was uncommon, said former New Jersey Assistant Attorney General William Fay, now an attorney specializing in liquor license regulatory law.

    Over-serving patrons who then cause roadway fatalities carries a presumptive penalty of license revocation, Fay noted after the settlement.

    “Given that Trump’s New Jersey Golf Course generated a revenue of roughly 25 million in 2020 alone, this settlement appears to be ‘pennies on this dollar’ given the tragedy that occurred,” he wrote.

    Donald Trump, Jr. did not immediately return a call requesting comment. The law firm that handles Trump’s New Jersey liquor licenses did not respond to phone calls and emails requesting comment.

    Read the original article on Business Insider


    Latest posts