New York Sues Trump for Using His Foundation As A Slush Fund

The attorney general, Barbara Underwood, is seeking almost $3 million in restitution and demanding for Trump to be barred from holding any position in a nonprofit organization for 10 years.

The New York attorney general's office is suing Donald Trump over what it alleges is "a pattern of persistent illegal conduct" involving his charity foundation. Trump headlined the rally, which was televised opposite a Republican primary debate although it was billed as a fundraiser for veterans. "Now he resigned his office in disgrace, and his disciples brought it when we would not settle".

Trump's children were named in the suit because they are all board members of the foundation, which was set up in 1987 to give away royalties from his bestselling book The Art of the Deal.

Trump has slammed the lawsuit as "ridiculous" and says he won't settle.

Underwood not only wants to shut down the foundation, she wants to bar Donald Trump from leading another NY charity for 10 years and his children from serving on any nonprofit boards for a year.

The lawsuit also spells out five separate occasions on which it says the foundation used its funds to benefit Trump's for-profit businesses, which would be a violation of laws against self-dealing. Those included more than $250,000 in payments to settle claims against his Mar-a-Lago resort and the Trump National Golf Club, as well as to purchase a painting of himself that was displayed at his Miami golf club, according to the suit.

The White House press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN.

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If true, these allegations would represent clear violations of IRS regulations pertaining to charitable organizations, as well as possible criminal violations of both federal and NY state law.

Paul S Ryan, head of litigation at Common Cause, a nonpartisan watchdog group in Washington, said the NY filing provides details of actions that could also violate a federal ban on campaigns funnelling "soft money" through nonprofits.

Trump is accused of using the nonprofit for personal business purposes to decorate one of his golf clubs and host a multimillion-dollar giveaway during his 2016 campaign for president, according to The Washington Post.

Correction: Bondi's office pointed out that Bondi never said she was considering joining an investigation. It claims that the foundation came to be "co-opted" by the campaign.

That same month, an official at the foundation emailed Mr Trump's campaign manager at the time, Corey Lewandowski, telling him "we should start thinking about how you want to distribute the funds collected". He later sent a list of veterans' groups "purportedly approved by Mr Trump to receive grants from the Foundation".

Trump also singled out Underwood's predecessor, Democrat Eric Schneiderman, in his tweets.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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