Moshe Lax, Ivanka’s Business Partner

His vendors call him a “career grifter.” His father’s creditors claim he’s a fraud and a serial extortionist who shakes people down with trumped-up threats of criminal charges.

With these and other allegations piling up in court records along with judgments—against him, his wife and his businesses—for millions of dollars, his lawyers are abandoning him, saying he’s a deadbeat.

All the while, he’s been living in one of the most luxurious mansions in the Bronx.

Meet Ivanka Trump’s longtime friend, matchmaker and business partner, Moshe Lax.

For the past decade, Lax, a 43-year-old New York diamond heir and entrepreneur, has been Trump’s partner in Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, the first major venture of her business career.

Trump and her family have continued to associate with Lax even as his legal problems have mounted and Trump has been dragged into Lax’s business disputes.

On election night, Lax and his wife stood at the front of the ballroom at the Trump campaign’s victory party in New York, and Lax went on to visit Trump Tower during the transition, while Tiffany Trump attended the launch party for a new Lax venture in February.

Ivanka Trump has even continued to rely on Lax’s advice in recent years: In depositions they gave for an unrelated case last summer, both Trump and her brother, Don Jr., cited advice they received from Lax in assessing another business partner.

And according to court records, Trump renewed her licensing agreement with Lax in 2011, allowing him to continue using her name even after his company defaulted on payments and he violated numerous terms of their agreement.

“He cheated not just us, he also cheated Ivanka,” says Mahipal Singhvi of KGK, a company that was recently awarded a multimillion-dollar judgment against Lax, his wife and their businesses after they kept, but did not pay for, a large shipment of KGK diamonds.

Trump’s relationship with Lax and the mountain of legal and financial troubles—reported here for the first time based on dozens of interviews and public records—raise serious questions about the first daughter’s judgment, even as she continues to serve as a powerful White House adviser.

In response to detailed questions sent to the White House and the Trump Organization, White House spokesman Josh Raffel requested more information about this article but did not provide comment.

POLITICO Magazine’s

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