Kevin O’Leary Admits that Real Estate Developers Are Crooked

Breaking News:  O’Leary and Trump should notice that real estate tax fraud is taken very seriously in other parts of the world.  As this video shows, one of Vietnam’s largest real estate developers was sentenced to death for her fraud. This happened in a country that takes its laws very seriously since real estate fraud ranks with bank fraud.


Kevin O’Leary, one of the panelists on the ABC business TV show Shark Tank, admitted in an interview that real estate developers engage in the same tax fraud and other illegal acts that resulted in an initial $463.9 million judgment against a Republican Presidential candidate and failed businessman Donald Trump. (This bond was later reduced to $175 million.)

In this CNN interview, O’Leary goes on a limb and defends Trump against what he considered the “excessive” bond he was ordered to post. O’Leary also said Trump’s tax fraud was “a victimless crime.”

In subsequent questioning, O’Leary said that Trump’s crimes–falsification of business records in the second degree, conspiracy, insurance fraud, using false financial statements—“were done by every real estate developer on earth, in every city.” That’s quite a claim for the self-proclaimed “voice of the financial community.”

O’Leary wants to defend Trump’s real estate tax fraud scheme and publicly say this is a normal part of a real estate developer’s business.

Based on O’Leary’s admission, Attorney Generals in all 50 states and Canada should begin investigating large real estate developers for tax fraud.

But in the process of inflating his ego on cable TV, O’Leary also turned in the entire real estate development industry in the US and Canada (O’Leary is Canadian) and invited the attorneys’ generals of all 50 states and Canada to begin investigating the real estate tax payments of the big developers in their states.

A real estate developer in Viet Nam was sentenced to death for tax fraud. Some nations take tax fraud very seriously.

O’Leary and Trump should take notice because real estate tax fraud is taken very seriously in other parts of the world.  As this video shows, one of Vietnam’s largest real estate developers was sentenced to death for her fraud. This happened in a country that takes its laws very seriously since real estate fraud ranks with bank fraud.

But back in the USA, suppose some intrepid attorney generals want to raise money for their states. In that case, they should form task forces and investigate this fertile area of tax fraud based on O’Leary’s firsthand and intimate knowledge of how the big developers operate.

ABC is Now on Notice

O’Leary’s frank admission should also be a wake-up call to ABC. This network produces Sharktank because one of its critical panelists on the show admits that real estate tax fraud is an acceptable business practice. Fraud is illegal; O’Leary admits it is commonplace (but did not specifically admit to committing it). However, ABC is now in the ethically sensitive position of having a host who endorsed a felony. If it were ethical, ABC would form a committee to investigate O’Leary’s claim and business practices and fire him, if necessary.

We should not be naïve about this because ABC now has a similar problem to NBC.

NBC is no paragon of ethical behavior. Most recently, they hired Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel as a paid network contributor for a reported $300,000a year. The problem is that McDaniel is a serial liar and MAGA hack.

McDaniel is an admitted election denier who dislikes reporters and is a rabid Trump supporter, including everything that goes along with that. McDaniel was hired and then fired by NBC execs. The network NBC’s terrible decision to hire her was made by NBC News president Rebecca Blumenstein, senior vice president of politics Carrie Budoff Brown, and Cesar Conde, chair of NBC Universal News Group. The backlash from reporters and others in the news department was so severe that the three top NBC executives who hired her had to renege on their offer, but McDaniel would still receive the proceeds of her $300,000 contract. This move should catch the notice of NBC shareholders since it shows terrible management.

NBC Ditches Ethics for the Money

NBC has been in this ethically challenged position before. When NBC hosted The Apprentice, which introduced Trump to a national audience, the producers should have done their due diligence about their new host. When the show aired in 2004, Trump’s reputation was already suspect.

Trump built the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City casino for $1.2 billion in 1990, but when it was sold in 2016, it went for 4 cents on the dollar. When it opened in 1990, Trump said it was the world’s eighth wonder. In typical Trump mode, he did not pay the contractors who worked on the casino construction. One contractor said Trump owed him over $1 million and stiffed over 100 contractors who helped complete the Taj Mahal. 

NBC developed and aired Donald Trump on “The Apprentice” reality show, which ran in various formats across fifteen seasons on NBC from 2004 to 2017. “The Apprentice” was created by British television producer Mark Burnett and co-produced with Trump, the show’s host for the first fourteen seasons.

By 2004, Trump’s shaky business background was well known. He was solidifying his reputation as litigious and appearing in local, state, and federal courts. If NBC had done a cursory background check, the same check they would do for an average employee, they would have found that Trump was not the successful businessman they were portraying in the show and presenting to unsuspecting Americans. But NBC didn’t care. Promoting a failed business person was good for ratings.

This chart from Bloomberg and the accompanying story lists Trump’s lawsuits and shady background. As this chart shows, when NBC hired Trump in 2004, and throughout his time on the show, Trump’s lawsuit record was accelerating, yet NBC acted as if he was still the proverbial successful businessman.

Trump lawsuits during “The Apprentice” airing

Why did they do this? Aside from being greedy, NBC did not want to admit that they were promoting the Trump fraud and that their original decision from Burnett was a mistake.

We can safely presume that the top executives at NBC who approved the Burnett proposal never admitted their mistake. It was a coverup. Besides, they were collecting big salaries and were years closer to retirement. Like other execs in this same position, cleaning up their mess would be left to others.

This same network now has a big problem with Kevin O’Leary, a Trump supporter, who admits to condoning real estate tax fraud.

However, in his SharkTank TV role, ABC allows O’Leary to negotiate with desperate entrepreneurs for a piece of their companies. Now, the contestants on Shark Tank and ABC must ask themselves: Can you trust this man?


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