Trump Settles Defamation Suit by Securities Analyst
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ The securities analyst who predicted Donald Trump’s casino troubles has won an undisclosed settlement from the developer over a defamation suit.
The agreement was finalized Monday, according to Marvin Roffman, who was fired by the Philadelphia brokerage Janney Montgomery Scott Inc. in March 1990 after he predicted Trump’s financial problems. Trump pressured the firm to fire the analyst.
Roffman sued Trump in U.S. District Court last July for $2 million plus punitive damages for interfering with his employment contract and defamation of character. The suit alleged that Trump publicly questioned Roffman’s abilities and integrity as a securities analyst, said Roffman’s attorney, Scott Vernick.
Roffman said today he was prevented by the agreement from discussing details of the settlement or releasing the amount he will receive from Trump.
″I feel like Ivana,″ he said, referring to Trump’s ex-wife, who was prohibited from talking about the couple’s recent divorce. ″All I can say is, Marvin Roffman is extremely happy with the settlement.″
An aide to Trump said that he was ″comfortable with the settlement and happy that it was resolved.″
The brokerage fired Roffman after he was quoted in The Wall Street Journal as saying that the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., which was under construction at the time, could suffer financial problems once it opened.
After Roffman made his comments, Trump complained to the brokerage and threatened to sue. After writing a letter of apology at the urging of the brokerage, Roffman retracted his apology and was fired.
His predictions proved correct when the casino’s business fell consistently short of the $1 million a day needed to cover its interest costs and operating expenses.
In March, the New York Stock Exchange ordered the brokerage to pay Roffman $750,000. Roffman used the cash to open his own money management company, Roffman Miller Associates Inc.
Roffman said that on Wednesday he will make his first public appearance in Atlantic City since he was fired. He will appear before a group of casino bus operators to discuss the casino gaming industry’s shaky financial condition.
″Even though casino gaming is now a $3 billion industry, there are very few smiles on (the owners’) faces,″ Roffman said.
Roffman said he wanted to warn the bus operators that Atlantic City will not be able to recover fully from this recession because of more competition from across the country, including gambling river boats in Iowa and Illinois.
″Some cold water has to be thrown″ on the industry’s expansion binge, he said.