How The Trump Taj Mahal Sign Ended Up In Court

J.R. Duren Updated on March 7, 2017
Trump Taj Mahal sign

Earlier this month, a partnership called Recycling of Urban Materials for Profit, or RUMP, allegedly struck a deal with the lighting team responsible for removing all Trump-related signage from Atlantic City’s Trump Taj Mahal.

The terms? A payment of $250 for two sets of letters from the shuttered iconic casino, Philly.com reported.

Letters appear on eBay

With the deal in place, RUMP took to eBay to auction off the letters. Bidding started at $5,000, and the auction was supposed to end on Feb. 26.

According to several sources, bidding for the letters hit the $7,000 mark. All was looking good for RUMP.

Removal company claims RUMP stole letters

However, as the closing day of the auction approached, controversy arose.

Eastern Sign Tech LLC, the company that removed Trump signage from the casino, said it wanted to buy the letters back, a sentiment most likely fueled by the letters possibly fetching 40 times their original sale price.

At the same time, Trump Taj Mahal security said the letters were stolen.

With all these allegations swirling around, eBay removed RUMP’s listing. The partnership was not happy about the move.

Lawsuit ensues in Philly small claims court

Miffed about the lost opportunity to cash in on their letters, RUMP filed a lawsuit in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court.

The partnership’s lawyer, Zachary L. Grayson, furnished several newspapers with a copy of the lawsuit. According to those lawsuit documents, one member of RUMP approached a person he believed to be a foreman and asked if he could purchase the letters.

The supposed foreman called his supervisor, who approved the sale. It’s certainly understandable why Eastern Sign parted with the letters for a pittance.

The previous day, according to court documents reviewed by the Courier-Post, the letters were being transported for disposal. As the truck and letters made their way through the city, onlookers jeered the driver and his cargo. He was “greeted throughout his travels in the Atlantic City area by rude gestures and insults.”

Lawsuit another chapter in Taj saga

No matter where the sign ends up, the casino will have a new name when Hard Rock International takes over. Billionaire Carl Icahn said he was going to sell the property, a promise he made good on in less than a month.

In the past year, the storied casino endured a swift, painful decline that started with a July 1 labor strike brought on by Icahn’s unwillingness to negotiate with UNITE HERE Local 54 over employee benefits.

The strike crippled the Taj’s image and revenue, and during the next two months, the casino and hotel sank to depths from which it could not escape. This past October, the Taj closed its doors for good.

Image credit: Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

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