The New York Times on Tuesday released an extensive investigation focused on President Donald Trump's fortune.
The Times reported that the president and his family engaged in "instances of outright fraud" to enhance their wealth.
The story also runs counter to Trump's narrative that he is a self-made billionaire.
The New York Times reported in an extensive investigation published Tuesday that President Donald Trump engaged in what it described as "dubious tax schemes" in the 1990s that even included "instances of outright fraud" that enhanced the fortune that his parents - mainly his father - passed on to him.
What The Times reported runs counter to Trump's oft-repeated narrative: that he is a self-made billionaire who built his own empire.
While The Times was not able to review Trump's personal tax returns - which he has refused to release, breaking with decades of precedent for presidential nominees - it said it examined a "trove of confidential tax returns and financial records" showing that Trump received at least $413 million (R6.2 billion) in today's dollars from when he was a child through the present day.
The Times reported that this money was passed on to Trump because he assisted his parents in dodging taxes, setting up a sham corporation and helping his father take millions in improper tax deductions.
The IRS apparently did not offer much "resistance" to the schemes, The Times said.
The Times reported that Trump's parents transferred in total more than $1 billion in wealth to their kids, an amount that could've produced as much as $550 million in tax revenue. Instead, the newspaper said, the Trumps paid just north of $50 million in taxes.
Charles Harder, an attorney for the president, told The Times in a statement that the report was "100% false and highly defamatory."
Robert Trump, the president's brother, also issued a statement to The Times, saying that "all appropriate gift and estate tax returns were filed, and the required taxes were paid" following their parents' deaths.
"Our father's estate was closed in 2001 by both the Internal Revenue Service and the New York State tax authorities, and our mother's estate was closed in 2004," he continued.
Harder, the White House, and the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.