Donald Trump has been exposed as using $258,000 from his charitable foundation to pay legal settlements relating to his for-profit businesses.
Reports say that, in 2007, Trump was fined $120,000 for having a flagpole that was nearly twice the allowed height at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. As a result, Trump took funds from his Trump Foundation to settle the case with a $125,000 donation to veterans’ charities.
This was followed in 2010 by Trump paying a $158,000 settlement to a golfer who was denied a $1 million prize in a hole-in-one competition at Donald’s course outside New York City in 2010. Again the settlement was paid for out of Trump Foundation funds.
Of course, the problem here is that the foundation’s money comes mainly from other donors, rather than Trump himself. The presidential candidate has also come under fire for using money ear-marked for charity to buy things for himself!
Trump has yet to comment on what looks like a clear abuse of tax laws and the ignoring of the trust placed in him by his foundations donors. The settlements could be in violation of self-dealing laws, which are designed to stop non-profit bosses from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses.
If guilty, Trump could be forced to repay the money to his foundation or even face penalty taxes. But, more damaging still, these latest reports show just what sort of a man Trump could be – the type to take money others have donated to charity to benefit himself!
Photo Credit: NY Times