DONALD TRUMP has defrauded charities out of millions of dollars by fraudulently claiming they were owed a donation for his charitable foundation, a new investigation has found.
In a landmark case, the Trump Foundation, founded by his late father Fred, has become a global model of corporate philanthropy, with its tax returns spanning the years of its inception and a $1 billion annual budget.
The investigation by the US Attorney’s office for the District of New Jersey revealed that Trump had been evading charity law for years, using charities as a front for his own business interests, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
“Mr Trump, through his businesses, has used charities as an excuse to avoid taxes,” Assistant US Attorney Jonathan D. Greenblatt said in a statement.
“This case is the latest example of his criminal conduct.
He has been abusing charity law by repeatedly defraudning charities.”
The case is just the latest in a long string of problems for Trump charities.
A US$1.5 billion civil lawsuit by the Trump foundation was settled out of court in March.
But the judge said the Trump family would have to pay the charity $150 million, leaving the organization in the dark.
The Trump Foundation was the subject of the most recent major civil case against the family, which was settled in April 2018 for $250 million.
Trump’s businesses also have been implicated in a number of criminal schemes, including one to buy the Miami Heat for $3.2 billion, the New York Times reported in January.
That deal was later found to be a fraud.
Also in February, a Trump Foundation investigation found that a $3 million gift from the Trump International Hotel in Toronto was a scam.
The AP investigation also found that the Trump Organization paid more than $1 million in taxes to the Cayman Islands, where Trump has a vast property empire.
Trump’s charity, in turn, has been accused of violating the US Internal Revenue Code, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Charities and Unions Act.