He began by bringing creditors around to the realization Mr. Ross had: The developer was worth more to them financially alive than dead. A global group holding $2.1 billion of debt, mostly on New York properties, agreed in 1990 to a complex plan that gave Mr. Trump years to work his way through.
He also squeezed money out of his casino empire and shifted it to struggling properties. He ran all three of his casinos through bankruptcy court.
He continued drawing cash even then. In 1992, when Trump Castle casino was in chapter 11, it paid Mr. Trump $1.5 million for guiding it through the process. In all, he took more than $160 million out of Atlantic City between 1990 and 1996 through fees and other payouts, according to a Wall Street Journal review of a wide array of documents from New Jersey gambling regulators and the Securities and Exchange Commission…
Those who entrusted him with their funds or labor, including employees, vendors and bond and stockholders, often fared less well. Taj Mahal contractors were told to take less than they were owed. Workers lost their jobs.