Vince McMahon has been found guilty of making further unrecorded expenses – except this time, it may be related to payments made to the Trump Foundation.
The ex-WWE boss has had a series of previously unrecorded expenses uncovered, resulting in the company even having to restate several financial statements. However, his latest payments of $5 million may not be related to the “hush money” payoffs. Instead, they may be linked to Donald Trump.
Per Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston, WWE’s IRS filings indicate that WWE spent a combined $5 million on the Donald J. Trump Foundation between 2007 and 2009. Although the payments are noted as coming from WWE and use the then-address of company headquarters, no specific person was named as having made the payment.
In the filing, issued on Tuesday, WWE acknowledged that these payments weren’t linked to the internal investigations against Vince McMahon:
“[T]he Company has determined that two additional payments totalling $5.0 million, unrelated to the allegations that led to the Special Committee investigation, that Mr McMahon made in 2007 and 2009 should have been recorded in the Company’s consolidated financial statements.”
What’s telling is that Donald Trump made appearances for the sports entertainment giant during the alleged period of the payments being made. In 2007, he enlisted Bobby Lashley’s help in the Battle of the Billionaires match against Vince – represented by Umaga – while in 2009, he “bought” the company.
WWE’s payment for Trump’s appearances being done through his Foundation may have also been done to avoid paying taxes. Furthermore, the unearthing of these payments came one day removed from the FBI searching Trump’s Miami home.
Donald Trump last appeared for WWE during the 2013 Hall of Fame induction ceremony, being inducted into the celebrity wing of the hall. Following his ascension to becoming the 45th President of the United States, however, there have been numerous calls made to remove him, owing to his controversial viewpoints.