There have been reports that Donald Trump used money from his charitable foundation to settle some lawsuits. The money is about $250,000 in the past decade. Trump has therefore violated the laws that ban nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefits their businesses or themselves.
One of the lawsuits filed against Trump’s business involved the height of a flagpole at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida. Palm Beach fined him $120,000 in 2007. The city said it would waive the fines if the club made a $100,000 donation to a veteran’s charity. However, Trump sent a check to the charity using money from his foundation.
Also in 2010, a man named Martin Greenberg won a hole-in-one contest at one at one of Trump’s golf courses in Westchester County, New York during a charity tournament. On the 13th hole, he hit a hole-in-one, according to the Washington Post, winning a $1 million prize. The rules say that the ball had to travel 150 yards, but the golf course said the hole was short of that, and he won nothing. Greenberg sued. The golf course agreed to settle the case that would have required it to make a donation to a charity, but instead, the Trump Foundation donated $158,000 to a foundation in Greenberg’s name.
The remaining amounts involved are smaller expenditures. In 2014, Trump spent $10,000 of his foundation’s money to buy a portrait of himself at a charity fundraiser. The portrait was different from the six-foot tall portrait he bought for $20,000 several years earlier. These are violations of IRS rules. There are also reports that he spent $12,000 to buy an autographed football helmet.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that the initial line of inquiry involved the breaking of tax laws by his foundation when it made a $25,000 political contribution to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.