How a ‘Fraudster’ Scammed His Way Into Trump’s Inner Circle

( – A con artist from Idaho managed to scheme his way into the inner circle of former President Donald Trump and swindled wealthy members of Mar-a-Lago for thousands of dollars before campaign staff discovered the man’s duplicity.

Jesse Taylor, 38, is a former lobbyist who convinced Mar-a-Lago club members that he was a successful and wealthy political consultant, charming his way into the former president’s inner circle of influence. Taylor’s alleged victims claim he ran a political donation scam from which he pocketed substantial sums, and that he even went as far as faking cancer treatment to deceive and swindle wealthy Palm Beach elites.

The ex-lobbyist was close with several top officials for Trump’s campaign, met Trump on multiple occasions, and even managed to get into parties at the Florida residence of Donald Trump Jr. and his fiancée. One of Taylor’s former friends told reporters that Taylor was seen with the former president’s family “often,” whether “at Mar-a-Lago, out for dinner, or at their house,” and was somebody “known to be connected to the Trumps.”

Taylor’s facade crumbled after campaign staff caught onto him when a check of $25,000 in donation money bounced, and then discovered that the ex-lobbyist was charging people $6,600 for photo ops with Trump and pocketing the money. Taylor also allegedly sold consulting contracts to would-be donors after promising them ambassadorships if Trump returned to the White House.

Perhaps the most egregious of Taylor’s offenses was pretending to undergo cancer treatment to elicit sympathy from donors and financial support. One of his victims claimed Taylor convinced a client to “pay him $60,000” for the treatments in 2022, and $20,000 from another top Republican donor. Taylor even used photos of someone else undergoing cancer treatment to make his story more convincing.

Trump’s lawyers have since sent Taylor a cease and desist letter and banned him from all of the former president’s properties. It turns out Taylor’s criminal record goes back 20 years, from theft at 18 years old to DUIs, one in 2014 and another in 2021.

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