Three Times Donald Trump Made Millions By Screwing Over Hundreds Of People

Published April 6, 2016
Updated February 5, 2018

Trump Ocean Resort Baja (Baja, Mexico)

An artist’s conception of Trump Ocean Resort Baja.

The Trump Ocean Resort Baja carried a name with connotations of sun, sand, the tropics — a true paradise.

The condo-hotel was planned to be constructed just south of Tijuana, Mexico, only a 30-minute drive from downtown San Diego. It was going to be a 526-suite high-rise on 17 acres, complete with luxury amenities.

Interested parties could guarantee their spot in the opulent building by placing a down payment of 30 percent of the final suite-ownership price — which spanned from $300,000 to $3 million.

According to Trump, at a 2006 sales reception, Trump Baja was to “redefine the standard of premier property ownership and service excellence for all of Northern Mexico.”

The Trump-licensed building, however, soon floated belly up on the Mexican shore.

As he always does, Trump maintained that even though companies used his licensed brand name, he was not responsible for paying back the people who invested in the building. In this case, those investments totaled $32.2 million.

Donald Isbell, one of the Baja condo buyers suing Trump, lost $147,000. He told The New York Times: “I have come to the conclusion that what I did wrong was to trust Donald Trump.”

Nickolaus Hines
Nickolaus Hines is a freelance writer in New York City. He graduated from Auburn University, and his recent bylines can be found at Men's Journal, Inverse, and Grape Collective.