Lawsuit: Trump Billionaire Megadonor Stole Tenants’ Deposits
A newly-filed class-action lawsuit claims a wealthy southern California developer who was one of Donald Trump’s biggest 2016 campaign contributors illegally withheld millions of dollars in rental security deposits from thousands of Los Angeles tenants.
San Diego attorney Jimmie Davis Parker claims billionaire Geoffrey Palmer wrongly kept security deposits instead of returning them to as many as 11,000 former tenants.
“We allege that Mr. Palmer, through his company, systematically and in bad faith, retained security deposits by failing to properly document the work that they charge tenants for when they move out,” said Parker.
Palmer was one Trump’s largest political donors, contributing $2 million to a pro-Trump super PAC in 2016.
Palmer owns the eponymous G.H. Palmer Associates, which controls more than 11,600 apartments. The company is worth $4.5 billion, according to its website. Palmer’s personal wealth is reported to be more than $2.3 billion.
Former Palmer tenant Latasha Jennings told NBC Los Angeles that after she moved out of her apartment, she received a bill for $1,038, for a new carpet, even though prior to moving out she was told her apartment had passed inspection.
“I left that place spotless from head to toe … They even did an inspection and said everything was good before I signed the papers to leave,” Jennings said. “I’m a hardworking single mother and if you have all that money and you’re ripping hardworking people off, it’s just not fair.”
In the lawsuit, former tenants claim G.H. Palmer Associates failed to comply with California state law by not providing adequate reasons for alleged damage to apartments. The lawsuit claims the company used generic descriptions such as “cleaning charge” or “maintenance charge” to justify unwarranted charges.