Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Trump Foundation acknowledges violating 'self-dealing' ban

Donald Trump’s foundation has acknowledged violating a prohibition against using charitable funds to benefit the leaders of the organization or their family members, a practice known as “self-dealing.”

In the charity’s latest report to the IRS, posted online late Monday, the Donald J. Trump Foundation indicates that it transferred income or assets to someone it wasn’t allowed to, such as Trump or a person or an organization close to him, in 2015 and previous years.

The report does not characterize the nature of any such violation. Spokespeople for Trump and for the foundation did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The admission appears to validate extensive reporting by The Washington Post showing that Trump used foundation money to settle legaldisputes for his companies and to buy a portrait of himself. The Post reported earlier on Tuesday about the new IRS filing. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has said he is investigating Trump’s foundation “to make sure it’s complying with the laws governing charities in New York.”

The foundation previously paid an IRS penalty for impermissibly contributing to the political campaign of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who later decided not to pursue an investigation into Trump University. The payment violated a prohibition on tax-exempt charities making political contributions.

Trump and Bondi have both denied the financial contribution had any link to Bondi’s decision not to investigate the tycoon’s real estate seminar.

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