Trenk for Cave Creek Council an out-of-town family affair

By Linda Bentley | May 6, 2009

Shopping local in Scottsdale, Phoenix and McLean, Va.
CAVE CREEK – Everyone who was elected or reelected to council during the primary has a track record with the town.

Trenk came close to a primary victory, missing by only a few votes, which forced him into the May runoff election against Planning Commission Chair Jim Bruce, Councilman Thomas McGuire and Councilwoman Kim Brennan, until she withdrew her candidacy, for the remaining two council seats.

Trenk is the only candidate without any town board, commission or council experience remaining in the race.

He is also the only candidate without any real work experience, although at the age of 17, Trenk, with his grandfather’s assistance, was able to buy a home, which he says he still owns, in Scottsdale for $187,500 with $37,500 down and, by the time he was 24, he was able to buy his home in Cave Creek for $550,000 cash. Trenk says real estate has been very good to him, although it’s not clear where, but it was not sustainable, which triggered his decision to go back to school and earn a law degree.

While his Post-Primary Election Report reflects a record-setting total of $17,381 in campaign contributions, Trenk doesn’t understand what is so remarkable or newsworthy about that. He says it just shows how hard he is willing to work on his campaign, which would be a reflection of how hard he is willing to work as a council member.

He also said he never expected to receive such a big response to the solicitations he sent to his family and friends.

Adam TrenkOn Primary Election Day Trenk’s entourage campaigned in the parking lot wearing T-shirts emblazoned with “Adam Trenk Cave Creek Council.”

But, while Trenk says he wants to support the town and promotes shopping local, he ordered his T-shirts online from, supporting the economy of McLean, Va.
Trenk claims he went to Strawberry Fields, the local silkscreen printer, twice but it was closed both times.

He took his campaign volunteers out to a $278.33 dinner at Don & Charlie’s in Scottsdale while supporting the local economy with an Election Day lunch from Big Earl’s Greasy Eats for $68.49.

Trenk says his volunteers “all live in Scottsdale.”

He purchased his sign posts from Home Depot in Phoenix, rather than Cave Creek Building Supply.

He paid $535.69 to have flyers printed at a Scottsdale Fed-Ex store rather than the Document Station, where he spent $28.29.

Trenk said he used whatever company could give him what he wanted when he wanted it.
Conspicuously absent from his campaign finance reports are any contributions from either of Trenk’s parents.

Trenk found “conspicuously absent” absurd and said, “Why would I ask my parents for money? They raised me and are helping me go to school.”

However, he received maximum contributions of $390 from Grandfather Alvin, Aunt Penny and Uncle David; $350 from Uncle Richard and Aunt Abigail, even $20 from his sister Elizabeth, who is also a student.

Obviously Trenk’s father Steven supports his candidacy since he flew out to help him campaign.

Perhaps Steven is keeping a low profile while the IRS continues breathing down his neck with respect to federal tax liabilities for the tax year ending Dec. 31, 2000, back when Trenk was 16 and presumably still living at home.

The IRS has been attempting to enforce a summons since it was issued to Steven Trenk in August 2005.

A brief filed by U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie on March 1, 2006 states, “Specifically, the IRS seeks Trenk’s testimony and production of numerous corporate documents in connection with the examination of the federal income tax liabilities of TechTron Holding, Inc. and its subsidiaries …”

It goes on to say, “On January 5, 2001, Techtron merged into TechTron, Inc. On December 27, 2001, TechTron, Inc. merged with Gold Crown Insurance Ltd. … an entity organized under the laws of the British Virgin Islands. The Service believes that Gold Crown maintains an office at 459 Mountain Blvd., Watchung, New Jersey 07069, where Gold Crown’s president, Steven Trenk, resides.”

While no “Justice Department referral” was in effect, meaning there has not been a recommendation for a grand jury investigation or criminal prosecution, Christie explains, “The Service’s examination of TechTron has focused on TechTron’s use of what appears to be an abusive tax avoidance scheme. The taxpayer received taxable settlement proceeds … during its taxable year ending December 31, 2000 in the amount of $5.2 million. At the same time the taxpayer was a party in separate litigation against a different company. The taxpayer purportedly transferred the settlement proceeds from the first litigation to a wholly-owned subsidiary, and received a demand note for $5.2 million from the subsidiary in return. The taxpayer then transferred the demand note to an attorney’s trust account. On its consolidated Form 1120 corporate income tax return, the taxpayer reported the $5.2 million and deducted $5.2 million, effectively eliminating from taxable income the $5.2 million.”

So far, Steven has refused to comply with the summons.

In May 2006, his Attorney Frank Agostino submitted a declaration opposing the United States’ petition to enforce the IRS summons, citing, “Currently, the IRS’ examination is civil in nature, not criminal. However, this could change at any time.”

On Nov. 20, 2006, the court granted the petition and directed Steven to comply with the IRS summons.

Steven filed for reconsideration, arguing he was denied his right to an evidentiary hearing based on claims he made in a sworn affidavit, including his lack of possession of certain documents.

U.S. District Court Judge Mary Cooper granted his request for reconsideration on Jan. 22, 2007.

The case continues to this day, batting reconsideration motions back and forth, while Steven asserts his Fifth Amendment privilege against self incrimination.

There have been numerous court cases involving Trenk’s family members with one currently pending against his grandfather and various entities he controls filed by Cessna Finance Corporation with respect to eight loans Cessna states are in default, at least one of which was personally guaranteed by Trenk’s father last August.

The complaint alleges one of the entities, in violation of the terms of the security agreements, sold three helicopters to another family owned business Las Vegas Helicopters on February 25, 2009 without Cessna’s knowledge or consent, the day before Las Vegas helicopters filed for bankruptcy.

Trenk stated, “For a newspaper that calls itself the conservative voice of Maricopa County, it seems odd that it’s supporting the two most liberal candidates.”

For the record, council elections are nonpartisan.

Photo: Adam Trenk’s father Steven Trenk (l) and his grandfather Alvin Trenk, who flew out from back east to help Trenk with his primary campaign, are both locked up in court battles, with the IRS still attempting to enforce a summons served on Steven Trenk in 2005 to investigate “what appears to be an abusive tax avoidance scheme.”
Photo by Linda Bentley