For months in 1987, Donald Trump maneuvered to take control of the hulking, unfinished Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. He snapped up stock in the parent company after its owner died and then made a surprise bid to take the company private.
With the Taj, along with two casinos he already owned in the city, Trump could dominate gambling on the East Coast. But first he needed to convince state gambling regulators that he was financially stable and could raise enough cash to complete the $1 billion project.
On Feb. 8, 1988, at a licensing hearing in front of the state Casino Control Commission, Trump said he could pull it off for one main reason: He was Donald T…
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