What were the details of Trump’s “complicated” real estate deal with South African fraudster Leslie Greyling?
In November 1993, Trump paid $1.6 million for 1094 S. Ocean Blvd, a 7,863 square-foot, marble-floored house adjacent his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
Trump purchased the house for less than half the original asking price (it was listed for sale at $3.5 million) from Leslie Greyling, a real estate investor who in 1995 was convicted and later deported to his native South Africa for his involvement in a mafia-linked “pump and dump” scheme.
Leslie Greyling (source)
The details of Trump’s deal with Greyling leave some unresolved questions. For instance, why did Greyling, who built his reputation defrauding investors of his casino and gaming company, sell the house at a significantly reduced price?
It’s “complicated” – that’s according to Jeffrey A. Paine, a now-disbarred West Palm Beach attorney who represented 1094’s former owners, and who in 2001 pled guilty to conspiring to commit mail fraud.
“I don’t know whether he intends to make up some money in another deal or what,” Paine told the Miami Herald in 1993. “All I can say is that we sold our shares (to Greyling) for substantially more than $1.6 million.”
Greyling’s signed warranty deed form (source)
According to Trump’s local realtor at the time, Robert Weiner, who committed suicide in 2012 after Florida state regulators launched a probe into the disappearance of $250,000 from Weiner’s real estate Escrow accounts, Trump was “involved with a ‘South African company’ in some deals,” but didn’t elaborate about what they were.
It’s unclear if Trump had any other deals with Greyling, but public records show Trump still owns 1094. The house is currently valued at around $8,000,000.