At the age of 28, Salvatore Testa was a millionaire who had risen hard and fast into the top ranks of the family business. Bold and ambitious, Testa was being touted as the No. 3 man in the mafia, which in size rivaled some of Philadelphia’s biggest corporations. His rise, accomplished in just three years, was duly noted in April on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
He attended Temple University for a year, then went into the real estate business. His real estate experience apparently served him well and In 1982 Testa sold Donald trump his property for $1.1 million. An Atlantic City bar called Le Bistro he and a partner, Frank Narducci Jr., had purchased in 1977 for $195,000.
Purchase of the property was at a rate of $220 per square foot and before the sale, Frank Narducci Jr. had transferred his share of the bar to Salvatore Testa for $1.
Le Bistro had been languishing vacant for years since Testa and Narducci were denied a liquor license because of their mob ties.
The transaction went through a third party so Trump's name would not be revealed. That third party? A secretary of Trump’s lawyer on the purchase, Patrick T. “Paddy” McGahn Jr.
McGahn told the Inquirer that if Testa had known who was buying his nightclub, “the price they asked could conceivably have been $2 million to $3 million.” After the sale, the property was transferred to Trump.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Trump told the paper in 1983 that he wanted to use the space for parking facilities for his casino hotel, Trump Plaza.
The club was “the second most expensive purchase he made on the block” in Atlantic City, New Jersey.