Trump ‘participated in outright fraud and dubious tax schemes in 1990s’

President Trump talks to reporters as he departs the White House for travel to Pennsylvania and Tennessee in Washington

In a lengthy investigation involving tens of thousands of public and confidential documents, including "more than 200 tax returns from Fred Trump, his companies and various Trump partnerships and trusts", The New York Times reported Tuesday that the President engaged in "dubious tax schemes", including "outright fraud", which he used to maximize "the fortune he received from his parents".

The Times report was based on interviews and more than 100,000 pages of documents acquired by the Times that describe "the inner workings and huge profitability" of Fred Trump's real estate business, as well as tens of thousands of pages confidential records.

"He and his siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents", it said.

For almost all his life, Trump has been accruing payments from his father's business in a trust fund that's still growing to this day, the Times' analysis of tax returns and financial records indicates.

"I'm the most successful person ever to run for the presidency, by far", Trump told the Des Moines Register in 2015.

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In a statement, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the newspaper's story a "misleading attack".

James Gazzale, a spokesman for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, said earlier the department "is reviewing the allegations in the New York Times article and is vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation".

"Donald Trump is probably the neediest person on the planet", Rubin said. The paper says it found that Fred Trump loaned his son the equivalent to $140m in today's money - much of which was not repaid.

"All appropriate gift and estate tax returns were filed, and the required taxes were paid", Donald Trump's brother Robert said in a statement included in the paper's report, adding that both national and state tax authorities closed his parents' estates.

This could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million but the Trumps paid a total of just $52.2 million, the Times said, citing tax records.

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When the elder Trump transferred his business to his children, the Trump kids valued a collection of buildings they'd received at $41.4 million.

Schwartz, who has expressed regret for helping to write The Art of the Deal - memorably telling the New Yorker in 2016 that he felt like he had "put lipstick on a pig" by helping Trump sell an idealized image of himself - said that he had long believed that issues around tax fraud and money laundering could end up being a significant legal threat for Trump.

Trump's attorney, Charles Harder, vehemently denied the allegations in the Times, calling them "100 percent false and highly defamatory".

The Times says he started receiving payments from his father from the time he was 3 years old and "was a millionaire by age 8".

Tax experts told The Times it was unlikely these findings would open Trump up to criminal prosecution, because the actions happened too long ago.

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When he was campaigning, Trump repeatedly boasted of his ability to turn a small loan from his father into his fortune.

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