In a brutal profile on Politico, Ivanka Trump’s business partner in her jewelry business is revealed as a “career grifter” with a history of lawsuits, unpaid bills and lawyers who want nothing to do with him.
According to the report, Moshe Lax, who is described as a “43-year-old New York diamond heir and entrepreneur” was Trump’s first business partner when she started up Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry.
Lax reportedly began his partnership with Trump over 10 years ago when he approached Trump over a land deal in Fort Myers, Florida. From there they embarked on a business partnership in the jewelry business, turning Lax’s retail location on Madison Avenue into their joint venture.
According to Trump in her 2010 memoir, “The Trump Card,” Lax “was looking to take his business to a whole new level.”
“In that way, I suppose, we were a lot alike, trying to make our own way along a path set out for us by our fathers and trying to extend that path in exciting new directions, which I guess explains why we hit it off,” she wrote.
Despite having a business falling out with Lax, “Trump renewed her licensing agreement with Lax in 2011, allowing him to continue using her name even after his company defaulted on payments and he violated numerous terms of their agreement.”
Lax’s sketchy business practices soon became an issue, Politico reports: “In June 2011, Trump and Lax entered into a new licensing agreement. This agreement, which has since surfaced in litigation, states that Lax’s company defaulted on licensing payments to Trump and that Lax or his company committed numerous violations of the original deal, including entering into unauthorized sublicensing agreements and failing to keep accurate records. The agreement charges Lax’s company $300,000 per year and 36 percent of net proceeds for the right to use Trump’s name.”
In 2012, Lax was sued after taking delivery of millions of dollars in diamonds and then refusing to pay for them, claiming that the vendor, KGK, had broken their deal by delivering some computer files related to the diamonds late.
According to KGK’s Mahipal Singhvi, who was recently awarded a multimillion-dollar judgment against Lax, “He cheated not just us, he also cheated Ivanka.”
Since that time, Lax has been sued over other business deals, including property sales, and has been abandoned by his lawyers who claimed he stiffed them for over $85,000 worth of legal fees.
Despite all of his legal issues, Trump has maintained her friendship with Lax, serving as a character witness in his legal battles, even though her business has been financially impacted because of his shady business practices.
You can read the whole report here.