Donald Trump’s older sister Elizabeth has a bit of a lower profile than his other siblings, namely Maryanne Trump Barry, a federal court judge, and businessman Robert Trump. Elizabeth Trump-Grau may fly under the radar, but is still very much a Trump.
In the expansive and explosive New York Times story on Trump and his siblings’ alleged tax scams, Trump-Grau is barely mentioned. But in a statement from a Trump lawyer, who denies the entire searing and searching year-long investigation and article as being “false, 100 percent false.”
“The facts upon which the Times bases its false allegations are extremely inaccurate. All estate matters were handled by licensed attorneys, licensed CPAs and licensed real estate appraisers who followed all laws and rules strictly.” But the lawyer for Trump, Charles J. Harder goes further. He said in a statement to the Times that if anyone was involved, it wasn’t him, it was his family.
“The affairs were handled by other Trump family members who were not experts themselves and therefore relied entirely upon the aforementioned licensed professionals to ensure full compliance with the law,” Harder wrote.
The Times’s investigation found that Trump and his “siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents …” The Times investigation discovered that Trump patriarch and matriarch, “Fred and Mary Trump, transferred well over $1 billion in wealth to their children, which could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million under the 55 percent tax rate then imposed on gifts and inheritances. The Trumps paid a total of $52.2 million, or about 5 percent, tax records show.”
Robert Trump told the Times his parents’ estate matters were squared away by the Internal Revenue Service years ago and all taxes were paid.
In the Times piece, Donald, Robert and Maryanne Trump were executors; Elizabeth was not named as an executor, according to the Times. “As their father’s executors, Donald, Maryanne and Robert were legally responsible for the accuracy of his estate tax return …”
It’s not clear if Trump-Grau was interviewed. Indeed, there’s just two references to her in the entire story, including from when she showed up with her brothers and sister to a 2003 Trump Tower meeting where among other business, “profits (were distributed) to each Trump.”
It’s been reported that New York tax officials are “reviewing the allegations that Trump received more than $400 million from his father Fred Trump’s New York real estate business via what the paper deemed ‘questionable’ tax practices.”
A Showtime documentary airs Sunday about the Times investigation. Filmmakers followed reporters for a year as they followed the money and paper.
But here’s what you need to know about Elizabeth Joan Trump-Grau:
1. Elizabeth Joan Trump Was Born in Queens, New York in 1942 to Fred & Elizabeth Trump. Her Brother Donald Would be Born 4 Years Later
Elizabeth Joan Trump grew up in the Jamaica Estates neighborhood of Queens. She attended the Kew-Forest School in Forest Hills bordering Kew Gardens. The very small and very private independent, co-ed, college prep school for grades Kindergarten to 12th grade was also attended by her younger brother, the now President of the United States. The 100-year-old school was established in 1918 primarily for the upper middle class residents of Forest Hills and Kew Gardens.
Elizabeth Joan Trump would go on to attend Southern Seminary College, now known as Southern Virginia University.
2. Married to James Grau in 1989, Elizabeth Trump Was a ‘Administrative Assistant at Chase Manhattan Bank’
In a New York Times wedding announcement from 1989, readers learned that at the “Marble Collegiate Church in New York, Elizabeth Joan Trump, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred C. Trump of Jamaica Estates, Queens, was married yesterday to James Walter Grau, the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Walter Grau of Dayton, Ohio. The Rev. Dr. Arthur Caliandro, a Methodist minister, performed the ceremony.”
“Judge Maryanne Trump Barry of Federal District Court in Newark, the bride’s sister, was the matron of honor, and James W. Barry Grau, the bridegroom’s son, was the best man. The developer Donald J. Trump, a brother of the bride and president and chief executive officer of the Trump Organization in New York, was an usher.”
The Times reported in 1989 that Grau was a graduate of Northwestern University and that his first marriage ended in divorce. ON his website, Grau said he graduated from NYU.
3. She Bought a Hamptons Mansion in 1996 for $1.2 Million & Sold it in 2017 for $3.8 Million to a New York Bankruptcy Lawyer
The mansion that sits on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean at87 Dune Road in the Village of Westhampton Beach sold for $3,718,500 in 2017. Nestled on just over half an acre, the 4,123-square-foot residence with 5 bedrooms, 6 baths, a heated in-ground pool, 2 fireplaces perched on the oceanfront was sold by Trump-Grau to New York bankruptcy attorney Kenneth Eckstein. Sotheby’s handled the sale. It had been previously put on the market on 2016 for $5.5 million but the price was continuously lowered until Eckstein’s purchase. Trump-Grau purchased the then-recently-built house in 1996 for $1.29 million.
Trump-Grau also is reported to own a house in the enclave around Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, near where her sister Trump Barry owned a home that she sold to a corporation created by her nephew’s Eric and Donald Trump Jr. for $18.25 million last year. Trump-Grau’s house is in the same area that the Palm Beach Post reported is closed to traffic when Trump is in town, Ocean Drive near Woodbridge Road.
4. Her Husband Was ‘Director of Entertainment’ at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago
According to his IMDb page and his own website, which does not appear to have been updated of late, Grau has held various positions in sales, marketing, production management in the cable, broadcast, information fields and “ethnic media.”
A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, he began his career at Charisma Communications, an advertising agency and a production company. Grau developed marketing and advertising campaigns for CBS Sports, CBS Radio, CBS News, Rolex Watch Company, IBM, AT&T and Bristol Myers. His website lists his accomplishments as including winning an Emmy Award for producing the 1983 Superbowl XVI show opening titles. He’s also listed on IMDb as having done sound for what appears to be a German horror flick.
His site also says he has developed, managed, distributed and launched “several international television networks with programming targeted towards the ethnic population in the United States and Canada.”
It’s been reported he once served as the “director of entertainment” for Mar-a-Lago. According to a report, he created programs earning the highest awards and accolades and has eleven productions in The Museum of Television and Radio. He served as the Entertainment Director of Donald Trump’s world-renowned Mar-a-Lago Club, Palm Beach, FL, and as Executive Producer of contemporary concerts for the Trump Organization.”>press release from 2014, Grau “created programs earning the highest awards and accolades and has eleven productions in The Museum of Television and Radio. He served as the Entertainment Director of Donald Trump’s world-renowned Mar-a-Lago Club, Palm Beach, FL, and as Executive Producer of contemporary concerts for the Trump Organization.”
5. Trump-Grau Hosted ‘Safari Night’ at Mar-A-Lago for Charity ‘Young Adventurers’ Which Says It’s Movement is ‘For All of Us to be Great Again.’
‘Young Adventurers’ hasn’t done much in a decade or more, but one couldn’t tell from its website with Pres. Donald Trump on the homepage and a new mission statement that incorporates the words ‘great again’ as part of its new “movement.”.
“We were founded in 1992 as a non-profit 501c3 organization. Through the years we have served over 12,000 young people and their families all across America and around the world,” the group says on its website. It’s financials show that in 2006, for example, it took in less than $100,000 and spent around that to keep it up and running.
In preparation for its Safari Night at Mar-A-Lago with Trump Grau, as she and her husband are referred, the charity updated it’s mission.
“Now, we are embarking on an exciting strategy to reach a new generation of millennials. America is a Great Country! America is the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave, but how will they know it if no one shows them? We’re starting a movement for all of us ‘To Be Great Again.’ It starts with you. We need your help and hope that you will get involved.”
Non-profit database GuideStar says the charity based in Palm Beach has been in existence since 1993, is listed in the “cause” category of “Sports Training Facilities” but has not provided a mission statement to GuideStar.
The Washington Post reported that following his election, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club more than a dozen charity events. But Trump-Grau “booked a new gala event — put on by a small, previously dormant charity that was encouraged to use the site by Trump’s sister.”
The last ‘Young Adventurers’ Mar-a-Lago fundraiser before the 2018 event was in 2011 with the Trump-Grau’s and, inexplicably, Kato Kaelin in attendance.