Donald Trump’s foundation could become a charity case.
The Republican nominee’s namesake foundation never obtained the certification required to solicit public donations, a spokesman for the New York Attorney General’s office has revealed.
The findings could prompt AG Eric Schneiderman to order the Donald J. Trump Foundation to stop raising money immediately, according to the Washington Post. With a court order, Schneiderman could even force Trump to return money already raised by the foundation.
Neither the Trump campaign nor the Attorney General’s office returned multiple requests for comment from the Daily News Thursday.
New York State Law clearly mandates that any charity soliciting more than $ 25,000 a year in public donations must go through a special registration process. Since the Trump foundation is headquartered in the city, it inevitably falls into that category. Furthermore, a charity as large as Trump’s must also comply with annual audits that probe whether employees have personally benefited from donations.
Tax records obtained by the Washington Post shows that the Trump foundation has raised more than $ 25,000 a year for the past 10 years.
A glaring example of apparent financial overreach is found on a website called Donaldtrumpforvets.com, which the foundation set up earlier this year. The website, which claims to support “our great Veterans,” boasts that it has pulled in over $ 1.6 million in public donations.
The foundation has also received more than $ 2.3 million from companies that owed Trump or one of his businesses money. But rather than paying him back personally, the companies were ordered to donate to the foundation, tax records show.
A spokesman for Schneiderman did not say if the Attorney General’s office is actively investigating the foundation’s lack of registration.
The donaldtrumpforvets.com boasts of collecting millions of dollars in public donations.
Schneiderman launched an investigation into the foundation earlier this month after bombshell reports suggested the Republican nominee was using money from the charity to make political gifts and settle legal disputes on behalf of his for-profit businesses.
The Trump foundation was founded in 1987 and for years, Trump was its sole donor. However, starting in 2000, the foundation began collecting public donations.
The scathing allegations against Trump come less than 48 hours after a report claimed the GOP candidate conducted illegal business in Cuba during Fidel Castro’s Communist rule in the ’90s.
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway defended the blowhard mogul’s alleged Cuba dealings Thursday, claiming he “respected (the) embargo.”