Donald Trump’s bizarre scheme to sell 45,000 “digital trading cards” featuring the former president looking jacked up like a superhero or a cowboy or smashing a golf ball, appears to be operating out of a mailbox at a UPS Store in a Park City strip mall.
The former president teased a “major announcement” coming Thursday that raised speculation he would announce a vice presidential running mate for 2024.
But in a surreal unveiling, the former president appeared in a video offering his loyal fans and supporters the opportunity to pick up one of the digital images for the low, low price of $99. Some of the offerings include an astronaut, a beefy fighter in boxing gloves and a racecar driver.
In the video, which opens with an animation of the 45th president shooting beams out of his eyes, Trump boasts that he is “better than Lincoln, better than Washington,” before offering the opportunity to pick up one of the digital collectibles.
But wait, there’s more!
Anyone who buys 45 of the cards — a total cost of $4,455 — is promised a ticket to a dinner gala with the former president. And everyone who purchases a card is automatically entered in a sweepstake for prizes that include a one-on-one dinner with Trump, a personal meeting with him, an hour of golf among the winner’s group on one of his golf courses and others.
All told, someone stands to make nearly $4.5 million from the odd endeavor.
In the video, Trump says the digital collectibles are “just like baseball cards,” but they aren’t really. They’re NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, which are essentially digital images with a unique digital signature that are emailed to buyers and downloaded.
There are no returns or refunds.
The whole thing is weird on its own. But the fine print on the website lists the company that is offering the NFTs — the oddly named NFT INT LLC — as having an address in a Park City strip mall, not far from a dry cleaner, a vape shop and an Asian bistro.
The “Suite 427″ listed for NFT INT does not appear to exist at that address. All of the businesses in the strip mall have letters to differentiate them, not numbers.
But at the end of the strip mall is a UPS Store — identified as the letter H in the chain of shops — and there are dozens of businesses in Park City and elsewhere that list their address as being in the strip mall with “Suite H” and a number, indicating they rent mailboxes at the store.
Indeed, one of the selling points UPS touts on its website is that renting a mailbox from the store lets the owner use a physical address, as opposed to just a Post Office Box number.
Here’s where this ridiculous search gets even stranger.
I was able to locate two Utah businesses registered at the address and using Suite H427. But when I contacted the owner, he said it was his mailbox but he had absolutely nothing to do with the Trump NFTs.
“Nothing personal, but I’m no Trump fan,” said the owner of the box. “I just hope he doesn’t cause too much chaos.”
A manager at the UPS Store said they could not disclose any information about any of the mailbox owners without a subpoena or a court order — which is fair.
NFT INT isn’t registered in Utah, but appears to be registered in Delaware, which is well-known for not disclosing information about business registrants. The Twitter bio promoting the Trump NFTs says it is located in Palm Beach, Fla. And there are 20 Florida businesses that list their address as the Park City UPS Store — although many are owned by the same person.
There is also a NFT International LLC that registered in Cheyenne, Wyoming last year, but that company’s registered agent is Capital Administrations, itself a company designed to hide the principals in other firms. Journalist Kurt Eichenwald put together that the address for Capital Administrations is the same as another umbrella company that has served as the registered agent for scores of companies, including some involved in past criminal activity.
That leads to another layer: There are two companies registered in Utah — NFT Ventures and NFT Funding Partners — that both use the Cheyenne address as their business address, while using another company that serves as a registered agent for thousands of Utah companies.
It’s like a snake that is eating itself, except in this case we never find out who the snakes really are.
I sent a message through the link for press inquiries on the Trump NFTs, but have not heard back.
Right now, it seems plausible, at least, that the person or people responsible for this “digital trading card” weirdness might live in or around Park City. Whoever it is definitely is using the mailbox. But it’s also possible they live in Florida or Wyoming or someplace else.
Whoever is behind it has gone to great lengths to hide who they really are — which should tell us something about the legitimacy of the enterprise.
I think we can say that, while Trump is absolutely not a better president than Washington and Lincoln, he has proven himself much more adept at going to extraordinary lengths to cash in on what once was the most respected office in the land.
But what can you do? Grifters are gonna grift.