The problems with the Donald J. Trump Foundation may not be contained by the New York state lines. On Sept. 29, the Washington Post reported has never obtained the certification that New York requires before charities can solicit money from the public, according to the state attorney general’s office.
Under the laws in New York, where the Donald J. Trump Foundation is based, any charity that solicits more than $25,000 a year from the public must obtain a special kind of registration beforehand. Charities as large as Trump’s must also submit to a rigorous annual audit that asks — among other things — whether the charity spent any money for the personal benefit of its officers.
If New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) finds that Trump’s foundation raised money in violation of the law, he could order the charity to stop raising money immediately. With a court’s permission, Schneiderman could also force Trump to return money that his foundation has already raised.
An investigation by Breitbart Unmasked revealed that the problem for the GOP Presidential nominee’s charitable foundation may be bigger than reported in the post.
The Trump Foundation is registered in New York State. However, according to the foundation’s tax filings from 2012, 2013 and 2014, the foundation received donations from outside the Empire State. Most states require that charitable organizations receiving funds from other states must be registered in those states. A check of state charity databases shows the Trump Foundation is only registered in New York.
In 2012, the Foundation’s tax filing showed that out of the $1,249.749 received in donations, $500,000 came from NBC/Universal in California, $157,250 from Stephen Shapiro of Boca Raton, Florida; and $50,000 from the Charles Evans Foundation of Palm Beach, Florida. The Trump Foundation is not registered in California or Florida.
In 2013, in addition to five donations from New York residents, the Trump Foundation received $5,000 from the John F. Scarpa Foundation of Princeton, NJ. The Trump Foundation is not registered in New Jersey.
The most recent filing for the year ending December 31, 2014, two New York contributors donated a total of $497,400.
The key to whether or not the Foundation engaged in wrongdoing is whether or not these out-of-state donations were solicited, that is, did the Foundation in any way ask for these donations or were they free-will, unsolicited donations by people who just wanted to give money to the Trump Foundation.
According to the IRS:
Many states have laws regulating the solicitation of funds for charitable purposes. These statutes generally require organizations to register with a state agency before soliciting the state’s residents for contributions, providing exemptions from registration for certain categories of organizations. In addition, organizations may be required to file periodic financial reports. State laws may impose additional requirements on fundraising activity involving paid solicitors and fundraising counsel. An IRS training document describes these requirements in greater detail. Charitable organizations may wish to contact the appropriate state agency to learn more about the requirements that may apply in their state, before soliciting contributions. In some states, municipal or other local governments may also require organizations soliciting charitable contributions to register and report.
Consider it another log on the blazing fire consuming the Trump campaign.