New York Ordered Trump's Charity Foundation to Stop Raising Cash

The Empire State attorney general's office has serious beef with the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

Oct 3 2016, 7:21pm

Photo via Flickr user Darron Birgenheier

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman hit Donald Trump's charity organization with a cease and desist letter Monday after determining it did not have the proper certification to raise money in the state, the Washington Post reports.

Schneiderman's office sent the Donald J. Trump Foundation a violation notice, ordering the charity to stop raising contributions in New York immediately and provide the proper paperwork to the Charities Bureau within 15 days.

According to a Post report from last week, the foundation's current set-up makes it easy to dodge independent audits, and the charity does not have a system in place to check the books to see if money was transferred to benefit Trump or any of his businesses.

"You wouldn't expect somebody who's supposed to be sophisticated, and brags about his business prowess, would run his foundation like this," James J. Fishman, a law professor at Pace University, told the paper.

According to the Post, the foundation may have already engaged in some shady self-dealing, like when Trump used $258,000 from the charity to pay for his businesses' legal fees. He also apparently purchased a six-foot-tall painting of himself with $20,000 of charity money in 2007. The painting now apparently just hangs in one of his golf clubs.

But in a statement, the Trump campaign blamed the fracas on Attorney General Schneiderman's political leanings. "While we remain very concerned about the political motives behind AG Schneiderman's investigation, the Trump Foundation nevertheless intends to cooperate fully with the investigation," spokeswoman Hope Hicks wrote.

Read: What We Know About Donald Trump's Scandal-Plagued Charity Foundation