The Delaware Guy who Tangled with Trump

Twenty-six years ago Marvin Roffman was a securities analyst in Philadelphia covering the gaming industry. Today he is kicking back enjoying semi-retirement in a 40-room Rehoboth Beach mansion, and Donald Trump had an awful lot to do with him getting here.

Roffman is the subject of a Politico article, “The Man who beat Donald Trump,” telling the story of Roffman’s bare-knuckled encounter with The Donald that began in March of 1990 when the then-analyst at Philadelphia brokerage Janney Montgomery Scott went on the record with the Wall Street Journal predicting that Trump’s new Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City would not go well.

“When this property opens,” Roffman told the Journal, “he will have had so much free publicity he will break every record in the book in April, June and July. But once the cold winds blow from October to February, it won’t make it. The market just isn’t there.” He called Atlantic City in general “an ugly and dreary kind of place.” 

The quote drew Trump’s ire and began a series of events that would end Roffman’s career as an analyst.

Three days after the quote in the Journal, Roffman was fired. What happened after that, though, was unusual. In the long history of the leading Republican presidential candidate’s use of disparagement, intimidation and forceful warnings of litigation, there is no person quite like Roffman. He filed a lawsuit against Trump and won a clear victory—a fat check drawn on a Donald Trump account.


Photo courtesy of Politico. Marvin Hoffman in front of his 40-room house in Delaware.

Roffman apparently is enjoying life in Delaware these days and took time to show off to the reporter his 500 shirts, cedar sauna and “gleaming, glass-doored, eight-nozzled, emerald-hued shower,” baccarat chandelier and a Luc Billet painting he claims was once owned by Napoleon.

The 76-year-old wouldn’t say who he favored in last week’s Republican presidential primary, but Roffman signaled no small degree of respect and admiration for his one-time adversary. “Trump is sort of like a breath of fresh air … He’s not like normal politicians. He doesn’t say things that are politically correct.”

“I actually think Trump would be so much better than Hillary. No question in my mind. None,” says Roffman. “This is really serious stuff here. If Hillary gets elected, it’s really like Obama’s third term, and I’m not happy with where the country is headed.”

Click here for the full story by Michael Kruse.

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