Report: Trump Foundation lacking proper charity certification

NEW YORK, Sept. 30 (UPI) — Donald Trump’s charitable foundation does not have the proper certification in New York state to solicit donations, which has been its sole source of money since 2008, The Washington Post reported Friday.

The Trump Foundation is registered as what’s known in New York as an “EPTL,” shorthand for the Estates, Powers and Trusts Law, which governs small charitable foundations. However, under state law, any charity that solicits more than $25,000 annually must register as what’s known as a “7A” for the audit such groups must undertake annually. Charities with the 7A distinction must keep detailed records of how they raised money, the sources of it and the group’s expenditures, and submit to a yearly audit, the results of which must be handed over to the state.

The Post reports tax disclosures for the Trump Foundation show Trump has not made any contributions to his charity since 2008. Instead, the Trump Foundation has relied on $4.3 million in outside contributions. While tax documents alone cannot determine whether Trump’s charity illegally solicited donations, it would be all but impossible to prove all the donations the foundation took in were unsolicited.

In one example, Trump solicited supporters of his presidential campaign to give money to the Trump Foundation to support veterans. The foundation took in $1.67 million after the appeal.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat who has clashed with Trump before, confirmed to the Post his office is looking into the Trump Foundation over previous reports by the paper of “self-dealing” by Trump, using his foundation to his personal benefit. The Post has previously reported Trump used the foundation to pay for charity auctions he won, including one to purchase a 6-foot portrait of himself. The Post also reported the foundation’s funds were used to make a charitable donation to settle a fine against Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club, which is a for-profit business.

The Trump campaign released a statement criticizing the Post’s story, saying it was “peppered with inaccuracies and omissions from a biased reporter.”

“In typical Washington Post fashion, they’ve gotten their facts wrong. It is the Clinton Foundation that is set up to make sure the Clinton’s personally enrich themselves by selling access and trading political favors,” the statement read. “The Trump Foundation has no paid board, no management fees, no rent or overhead, and no family members on its payroll.”

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