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FBI investigating Trump’s business deals with Vancouver hotel tower

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Kenneth Chan Mar 01, 2018 5:17 pm 5,466

Ivanka Trump’s business deals with her family’s namesake Vancouver hotel property, the second tallest building in the city, is being investigated by the FBI.

According to a CNN report, federal law enforcement in the United States is investigating the American president’s daughter’s work in the negotiations and financing of Trump International Hotel and Tower.

“In the case of Vancouver, it’s not clear why investigators are examining this particular deal,” reads the report. “The timing of the deal – as one of the few Trump-branded properties to open since Trump took office – could be of interest. The flow of foreign money, either from the developer or international condo buyers, could also be sparking scrutiny.”

The sign outside Trump Tower in Vancouver (Jenni Sheppard/Daily Hive)

The sign outside Trump Tower in Vancouver. (Jenni Sheppard / Daily Hive)

While the Trump Organization owns other properties that carry the family’s name, it does not own the hotel in Vancouver, as it was built by locally-based Holborn Group, which is directly linked to TA Global Bhd, owned by one of Malaysia’s wealthiest families.

Tiah Joo Kim, the CEO of Holborn Group, is the son of TA Global chairman Datuk Tony Tiah Thee Kian.

The new Trump Tower in Vancouver (Jenni Sheppard/Daily Hive)

The new Trump Tower in Vancouver. (Jenni Sheppard / Daily Hive)

But Holborn Group no longer has possession of the hotel property. In a previous email to Daily Hive, Holborn Group said TA Global now owns the tower.

Under the deal, the Vancouver developer pays licensing and marketing fees to use the Trump name and brand. A financial disclosure form from June 2017 states Trump’s company made over $5 million in royalties and $21,500 in management fees from the Vancouver hotel.

The deal between the two families was “a family affair,” and a bond is said to have developed between Tiah and Trump Jr.

Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. during a site tour of Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouer during construction. (Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver)

However, Ivanka’s role in finalizing the deal was key, which occurred two years before Trump officially launched his presidential bid. The tower’s announcement in 2013 was attended by Trump, Trump Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump.

It is unclear whether this probe is of specific interest to the Special Counsel’s investigation being led by Robert Mueller. This follows a report earlier this week that Ivanka and especially Jared Kushner, the husband of the first daughter and senior advisor to the president, are being closely examined to determine whether any of their private business deals could have left them vulnerable to manipulation by foreign powers.

The 616-ft-tall, 63-storey tower opened in February 2017 at a cost of $360 million. It features a 147-room hotel operated by the Trump Hotel Collection, 238 market residential units, Mott 32 signature Chinese restaurant, and Drai’s Pool Bar Nightclub.

There were major demonstrations and protests during the tower’s grand opening, which was attended by Trump Jr., his wife Vanessa Trump, Eric and his wife Lara Trump.

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Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com

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