Trump could face ‘McMafia’ probe of Scottish golf course if judge signs off
Donald Trump in Scotland (AFP)

Donald Trump could face a thorough investigation into his purchase of a golf course in Scotland if a judge decides the government can use a new anti-money laundering tool to probe the transaction.

Lord Sandison, the judge overseeing the case, will hold a two-day hearing to decide whether to issue an unexplained-wealth order to investigate the former U.S. president's $60 million purchase of Turnberry in 2014, reported The Daily Beast.

"Do we continue to ignore the towering cloud of suspicion over Trump Turnberry?" said Nick Flynn, legal director of a watchdog group that has been pressing the Scottish government to act.

The advocacy group Avaaz wants to the government to open a so-called "McMafia" investigation to determine how Trump came up with $60 million in cash to purchase the storied golf resort while his casino business Trump Entertainment Resorts, in which he held a 10-percent stake, was filing for bankruptcy.

"He has been an absentee owner of Trump Turnberry since he bought it, and with the financial losses being made year-on-year, the Trump Organization has been as successful at running the resort as the founder was at being president," said Scottish legislator Colin Smyth earlier this year during a parliament meeting.

Golf Recreation Scotland Limited, which runs the resort, has lost millions of dollars every year since Trump purchased the property, according to publicly available corporate statements filed in the United Kingdom, but the business claim to have poured $150 million into renovations on the foundering operation.

A spokeswoman for the operation insisted everything was above board and complained the probe was politically motivated.

"This is political game-playing at its worst and a terrible waste of taxpayers' money which further damages Scotland's reputation as a serious country to invest in and do business," Sarah Malone, executive vice president of Trump International Scotland, told The Daily Beast. "We have developed and operate two globally acclaimed, multi-award winning, visitor destinations in Scotland and make a significant contribution to the Scottish leisure and tourism economy. This latest attempt to undermine that investment is an utter disgrace."