Tuesday, 13 June 2017

New York attorney general "looking into" Eric Trump Foundation

New York Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is "looking into" issues at the Eric Trump Foundation, after a recent report that now-President Trump billed his son's charity to use his golf course for an annual fundraiser benefiting children with cancer.

"The Attorney General's office is looking into issues at the Eric Trump Foundation raised by the Forbes report," Eric Soufer, director of communications for the New York Attorney General's Office, told CBS News.

Earlier this week, Forbes reported the Eric Trump Foundation paid Mr. Trump's businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars http://lawyers.findlaw.com/ from 2007 to 2015 for expenses from charity golf tournaments intended to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee, at the direction of the president. Eric Trump, the president's second-oldest son, told Forbes all the funds from the annual golf tournaments at Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York, benefited children with cancer, and he did not pay for the use of his family's golf course.

But Forbes obtained IRS tax forms showing the course wasn't free after all. The for-profit Trump Organization received payments from the not-for-profit Eric Trump Foundation. More than $500,000 in donations raised from the tournaments was re-donated to other charities, many of which were connected to Trump family members or interests, Forbes reported.

Four such groups held their own charity tournaments at Trump golf courses at later dates. The nonprofit Donald J. Trump Foundation also Best Attorney donated $100,000 to the Eric Trump Foundation to cover tournament costs, money that was then redirected to Trump businesses, Forbes claimed.

The annual tournament co sts -- around $50,000 when the tournament began -- rose sharply through the years, reaching $322,000 by 2015, according to the tax records Forbes obtained.

Eric Trump, appearing on Fox News' show with Sean Hannity on Tuesday,said he was "attacked."

"I've raised $16.3 million for the greatest hospital in the world," the Trump son said. "That's St. Jude. And I get attacked for it."

As attorney general, Schneiderman reserves the authority to play a watchdog role when it comes to nonprofit groups.

But the Eric Trump Foundation isn't the o nly Trump family nonprofit group Schneiderman has reviewed. In September, shortly before the election, Schneiderman said his office was looking at the Donald J. Trump Foundation to determine if it violated state law. A lengthy Washington Post investigation revealing Mr. Trump stopped donating to his charity more than eight years ago and made questionable purchases using donors' money prompted Schneiderman's review.

At the time, Mr. Trump's campaign blasted Schneiderman, calling the Hillary Clinton supporter a "partisan hack" and the probe "nothing more than another left-wing hit job."

Schneiderman has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration, joining the lawsuit against Mr. Trump's revised travel ban.

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