Donald Trump and his kids just found themselves in some seriously hot water with the state of New York, and this time, it’s likely not something he can wriggle his way out of. A suit was just filed against Trump, Don Jr., Eric, and Ivanka was filed by the state attorney general, and alleges that a Trump charity violated the law.
According to Washington Post:
“The New York attorney general on Thursday filed suit against President Trump and his three eldest children alleging “persistently illegal conduct” at the president’s personal charity, saying Trump repeatedly misused the nonprofit — to pay off his businesses’ creditors, to decorate one of his golf clubs and to stage a multimillion dollar giveaway at his 2016 campaign events.”
The lawsuit asks the judge to completely dissolve the foundation, give the $1 million in assets to “other charities,” and to ask that Trump be fined a restitution of 2.8 million for the damage he has done.
The report continues:
“Underwood also asks that Trump be banned from leading any other New York nonprofit for 10 years — seeking to apply a penalty usually reserved for the operators of small-time charity frauds to the president of the United States.”
Since 2016, Trump has already paid fines of $330,000 stemming from the investigation started by The Washington Post. After 20 months of investigating, newly appointed NY Attorney General Barbara Underwood, is asking that Trump face stiffer penalties. The investigation reportedly “found that Trump had repeatedly violated laws that set the ground rules for tax-exempt foundations — most importantly, that their money is meant to serve the public good, and not to provide private benefits to their founders.”
Underwood took over her current position weeks ago after former AG Eric Schneiderman resigned due to a disgraceful scandal, including allegations of sexual violence against former partners.
In a written statement, Underwood said this:
“As our investigation reveals, the Trump Foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their purpose or legality. The Foundation’s directors failed to meet basic fiduciary duties and abdicated all responsibility for ensuring that the Foundation’s assets were used in compliance with the law.”
Underwood says she sent that statement to both the IRS, and well as the Federal Election Commission.
“Trump’s children Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump were also named in the lawsuit because they have been official board members of the Donald J. Trump Foundation for years. Under the law, Underwood said, board members are supposed to scrutinize a charity’s spending for signs that its leader — in this case, their father — was misusing the funds.”
“Behind the scenes, Underwood said, the foundation was essentially one of Trump’s personal checkbooks — a pool of funds that his accounting clerks knew to use whenever Trump wanted to pay money to a nonprofit. By law, Trump wasn’t allowed to buy things for himself using the charity’s money, even if he was buying them from nonprofits.”
“At one point, during a deposition, a New York state investigator asked Allen Weisselberg — a Trump Organization employee who was also listed as treasurer for the Trump Foundation — if the foundation had a policy for determining which specific payments the foundation was allowed to make.”
Underwood asked the judge that Trump’s children be barred from running the charity for one year.