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Trump Foundation Accused of Being ‘Shell Company’ in NY Lawsuit

The Trump Foundation is being sued by the state of New York for using Foundation funds for personal and political gains.

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood accused the Trump Foundation of acting as a shell company in a memo filed Thursday as part of a lawsuit brought by the state of New York against the charity.

The lawsuit, which was first filed against the Trump foundation in June, alleges that the foundation used charitable donations and funds raised for the charity for personal gains.

“As the attorney general’s petition alleges, and as the evidence shows, the Trump Foundation was a shell corporation that functioned as a checkbook from which the business entity known as the Trump Organization made payments – using other people’s money, as Mr. Trump did not personally contribute to the foundation after 2008 – to charities and political committees,” Underwood wrote in a Thursday memo. “On multiple occasions, the payments were made for the personal benefit of Mr. Trump or a Trump business.”

Trump and the state of New York both want the foundation dissolved; however, New York wants acknowledgment of wrongdoing and the return of $2.8 million the foundation collected from a political fundraiser in Iowa in 2016.

The Trump Foundations lists Trump’s children, Eric, Ivanka and Donald Jr. as the foundation’s directors but Underwood alleges they failed to ever hold a meeting once they joined the foundation in 2006.

The foundation responded to the June lawsuit by filing a motion to dismiss in August. Trump’s attorney has attempted to frame the New York lawsuit as a politically motivated attack and recently issued a statement defending the foundation’s work.

“This case involves the unprecedented circumstance of a state agency suing a charitable Foundation that, since its inception in 1987, has raised $17.5 million dollars and, upon dissolution, will have given over $19 million to charitable causes,” Trump’s attorney Alan Futerfas wrote. “The reason the Donald J. Trump Foundation could do this is because – unlike many other charitable foundations – it paid no salaries to board members or employees (even though the law entitles it do so), provided no perks, and, consequently, had virtually no operating costs, save for accountants and professional fees. Practically every dime it received went to charitable causes.”

Trump Foundation Accused of Illegal Activity and Self-Dealing

The New York lawsuit cites numerous instances of alleged illegal activity by the foundation. In one instance, the lawsuit alleges the foundation participated in a nationally televised Trump Campaign fundraiser to solicit charitable donations from the public. The Foundation then ceded control of the $2.8 million raised to the Trump Campaign which used the money to influence the 2016 election. The lawsuit alleges when the Foundation participated in the fundraiser and handed over the money to the Campaign, the Foundation participated in illegal political activity.

Six additional illegal transactions by the Foundation are referenced in the lawsuit. In one transaction President Trump was sued by the town of Palm Beach, Florida but Trump directed the payout to Palm Beach to come from his foundation. The Foundation, however, was not named in the lawsuit.

In a second instance described in the lawsuit, the Trump Foundation auctioned off a membership to the Trump National Golf Clubs worldwide with the claim the money raised would benefit the Donald J. Trump Foundation. Instead, the money the Trump Foundation raised was used to pay a legal debt the Trump National Golf Club owed.

The four other instances mentioned in the lawsuit allege various other instances of the Foundation’s funds being used for personal gain including to purchase a $10,000 portrait of Trump.

A hearing on the motion to dismiss is scheduled for October 25th.

Lauren von Bernuth

Lauren is one of the co-founders of Citizen Truth. She graduated with a degree in Political Economy from Tulane University. She spent the following years backpacking around the world and starting a green business in the health and wellness industry. She found her way back to politics and discovered a passion for journalism dedicated to finding the truth.

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  1. Edward Calabrese October 6, 2018

    Lock the whole family of parasites up

  2. Diane Nelsonski October 6, 2018


  3. Larry L. Cunningham October 6, 2018


  4. Bob Davis October 6, 2018

    They’re above the law,they think,but can do pretty much what they want now that they have the Supreme Court filled with the majority of judges they needed to protect their president!

  5. Laylon K. Day October 6, 2018

    That people are surprised is a joke. He is the prince of lies being followed by those who think their Christian. Read revaluations

  6. Michael S Gregory Sr. October 6, 2018

    Lock Them All Up.

  7. Cheryl Casillas October 6, 2018


  8. Gail Ladella October 6, 2018


  9. Timothy Stout October 6, 2018

    Have you heard of the Clintons maybe?

    1. Betty Major October 6, 2018

      Yes, they were investigated for decades, no charges. One lie about consential sex and he was impeached .

  10. Lois Sprankle Fohl October 6, 2018

    Ah, but who received these professional fees??? Want to bet their last names were trump???

  11. Cathy Ankenbrandt Escobedo October 6, 2018

    Keep piling up all the evidence

  12. Chris Khan October 6, 2018

    Not surprised

  13. Fred Latimer October 6, 2018

    Are they implying our inglorious “leader” is a cheap crook?

  14. Linda Krider October 6, 2018

    They are not above God’s law. Karma is a real bitch.

  15. Dave Ames October 6, 2018

    The only charity The Trump family supports is themselves.

  16. Dana Michelle Scruggs October 6, 2018

    Shashon Jenkins

  17. Fred Smith October 6, 2018

    Go get him and hit him hard

  18. Herlinda Wirth October 6, 2018

    Lock Them All Up!

  19. Andy Millar October 6, 2018

    What about Hillary laundering $800 million and the Clinton Foundation? The swat teams to Haiti?

  20. Shirley Hawkins October 6, 2018

    Lock the whole family up

  21. Ginny Celano October 6, 2018

    So what

  22. Verna Schertz October 6, 2018


  23. Charles Huber October 6, 2018

    Lying liberal democrats

  24. Thomas Mueller October 6, 2018

    Russians here

  25. Jackie Zapp October 6, 2018

    Get the ? bastard!

  26. Mary Anne Young October 6, 2018

    Lock him up!!!!!Hm, I wonder where I have heard
    That expression before?

  27. Dr arachno

  28. Ronald Christensen October 6, 2018

    This NY thing should set Trump back for not paying his Taxes ! Boy oh Boy does he owe NY a lot of money !

  29. Komonda Nelson October 6, 2018

    He looks so much like a Russian plant to me I can’t stand it

  30. Ron Berey October 6, 2018

    didn’t you know King Trump is above the law, said kavanaugh

  31. It is and he now has supreme court protection to keep him from any criminal consequences

  32. Bj Hollis October 6, 2018

    Of course!

  33. Susan Dow October 6, 2018

    Someone please take him down!

  34. Alison Pedregal October 6, 2018

    I hope this makes him go to jail

  35. David Young October 11, 2018

    NAIL trump’s ASS and make him file for bankruptcy!!!

  36. John Littrell October 11, 2018

    Only the left-wing lying morons would say this and actually get traction!! Say anything and put it out to the media and watch the liberals eat it up as true!! The lying fake news media controls the people, don’t let the media control you!!!!

  37. Will Feil October 11, 2018


  38. Terry Sannella Savage October 11, 2018

    Criminal charges

  39. Avella Elyse October 11, 2018

    Lock these mother fuckers up! My god! Enough

  40. Cheryl Casillas October 11, 2018


  41. Gary Fuller October 11, 2018

    Dump trump18!

  42. Larry L. Cunningham October 11, 2018


  43. Sarah Davis October 11, 2018

    Lock this criminal up! Hurry!

  44. Cecilia Marie October 11, 2018

    Ok, look into Diane Feinstein and other senators she makes 174 thousand a year approximately and is worth approximately 94 million. How did she make that money. Or better yet Obama came in as a Junior Senator. Obama came in as a Junior Senator made less. Presidential salary 200 thousand x 8 about a million and his net worth now is worth is now 40 million. These are numbers we should be concerned with!

  45. Tom Purcell October 11, 2018

    It doesn’t matter, it seems no one really cares

  46. Boyle Heights Citizen October 11, 2018

    not what you know but what you can prove

  47. April Severin October 11, 2018

    Nothing is surprising about this crook and liar

  48. Chari Hayes October 11, 2018


  49. Dan Fryling October 11, 2018

    Maybe they should actually investigate the money laundering operation called the Clinton Foundation instead.

  50. Crystal Allen-Frame October 11, 2018

    Like the Clinton foundation?, two wings of the same bird

  51. Louise Dodson October 12, 2018

    According to Trump he is till selling apartments to Saudi

  52. Edward Calabrese October 12, 2018

    Decades of conning both New York and the Feds…..hopefully this time they get the whole family of parasites

  53. Ginny Celano October 12, 2018

    They never give up trying to sink our President!

    1. Kern Burden October 12, 2018

      simply calling for justice

  54. Rachel Puccio October 12, 2018

    What the hell is it going to take to bring this POS down??

  55. Bernice Slider October 12, 2018

    Hope everyone sues Trump.

  56. Laylon K. Day October 12, 2018

    Everything we have seen of this liar why would we be surprised that his charity is a lie also. The best way to hurt this bigot is take all of the money. Go Mueller!!!!


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