World

End NY fundraising, Trump foundation told

Corey Lewandowski (left) has left the campaign for reasons that are unclear

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s charitable foundation has been ordered by New York’s attorney general to stop fundraising in the state.

Prosecutors issued a “notice of violation” after determining the foundation had no proper registration.

The notice directs the Trump foundation to “immediately cease soliciting contributions or engaging in other fundraising activities in New York”.

The foundation has relied on donations from others since 2008, records show.

James Sheehan, head of the attorney general’s charities bureau, sent the letter to the foundation on Friday, according to a copy provided by press office of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

The foundation had neglected to register under article 7A of New York’s Executive Law, which is required for any charity soliciting more than $25,000 (£19,440) a year.

‘Continuing fraud’

“While we remain very concerned about the political motives behind AG Schneiderman’s investigation, the Trump Foundation nevertheless intends to co-operate fully with the investigation,” Hope Hicks, Mr Trump’s spokeswoman, said in a statement.

“Because this is an ongoing legal matter, the Trump Foundation will not comment further at this time.”

When Mr Schneiderman’s office revealed last month that it was investigating the foundation, the Trump campaign called him “a partisan hack.”

The Democratic prosecutor has endorsed Mr Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, for president.

Mr Schneiderman has been looking into the foundation following Washington Post reports that the charity’s spending personally benefited the candidate.

Friday’s letter directed the foundation to provide the legal documents required of charities that solicit donations from the public, including audited financial statements and annual financial reports, within 15 days.

“The failure immediately to discontinue solicitation and to file information and reports” with the charities bureaus “shall be deemed a continuing fraud upon the people of the state of New York”, Mr Sheehan wrote.

The announcement comes after the New York Times reported Mr Trump paid no taxes for nearly two decades having declared losses approaching $1bn, according to three pages of his 1995 tax returns.

Mr Trump’s campaign has refused to confirm or deny the report, but said the filing was “illegally obtained”.

His Democratic rival Mrs Clinton told supporters in Toledo, Ohio: “While millions of American families – including mine and yours – were working hard paying our fair share, it seems he was contributing nothing.

“Trump represents the same rigged system that he claims he’s going to change.”

The former secretary of state also released a new campaign video on Monday, calling Mr Trump “a business failure who has gotten rich at your expense”.

Mr Schneiderman’s office has reportedly been investigating the Donald J Trump Foundation since at least June when it formally questioned a 2013 donation to a group backing Republican Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

The $25,000 payment came at a time when Mrs Bondi’s office was reportedly considering whether to open a fraud investigation into Trump University.

The fraud investigation never happened, though Mrs Bondi denies the decision was influenced by the donation she received.

The Washington Post also reported this month that Mr Trump used more than $250,000 of foundation money to settle lawsuits that involved his businesses.

Source: BBC

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