A New York judge ordered Donald Trump to pay $ 2 million to a group of non-profit organizations as part of a civil lawsuit settlement against his charity.
The lawsuit claimed that President Trump and his three oldest children – Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric – used the Donald J. Trump Foundation for political and personal gain.
The four were accused of violating federal and national campaign finance laws and abusing the tax-free status of the Donald J. Trump Foundation.
A New York judge ordered Donald Trump to pay $ 2 million to a group of non-profit organizations as part of a civil settlement settlement
President Trump and his three oldest children – Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric – were charged with using the Donald J. Trump Foundation for political and personal gain
The money must be paid by Trump himself for violating his fiduciary duty to properly supervise his foundation, the judge ordered.
& # 39; I give Mr. Trump ordered to pay the $ 2,000,000 that would have gone to the Foundation if it still existed on a pro rata basis to the approved recipients, & # 39; wrote the judge.
The foundation was dissolved in December as part of the negotiations with the New. York Attorney General's Office.
Trump had vowed to fight the civil lawsuit. He tweeted last year: & # 39; I will not settle this matter! & # 39;
The case was brought in June last year by the then New York attorney general Barbara Underwood.
Underwood was promoted to work last summer, he then succeeded New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman after resigning following allegations that he had physically abused some of his romantic partners.
Underwood is a career executive, not an elected official, and she did not seek election for a full term.
Letitia & # 39; Tish & # 39; James was elected to the position and said she intended to conduct aggressive investigations into Trump's businesses and finances.
As Attorney General, Underwood had requested $ 2.8 million in restitution plus additional financial fines. And she wanted the court to forbid the Trumps to serve on the boards of other New York charities for a period of one year.
Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump were mentioned in the trial because they were official board members of the Donald J. Trump Foundation for many years.
There were reports about how Trump used charity funds to pay for legal settlements for his private company, to buy art that adorned one of his clubs, and to make a banned political donation.
The suit was filled with destructive charges against the president and his management of his self-proclaimed non-profit. It includes allegations of violations of campaign finance laws and illegal coordination with Trump's presidential campaign.
Prosecutors accused Trump of repeatedly abusing the non-profit to pay off the creditors of his company, to decorate one of his golf clubs and to organize a giveaway of millions of dollars during his 2016 campaign events.
In its June submission, Underwood accused the non-profit was essentially one of Trump's personal checkbooks – a collection of funds that his clerks were able to use when Trump wanted to pay money to a non-profit.
From a legal point of view, Trump is not allowed to buy things for himself using charity's money, even if he bought them from non-profit organizations.
The suit also mentioned some of the dubious expenses made by the charity, including one $ 10,000 on a portrait of Trump hung on one of his golf clubs.
And twice Trump used charity money to settle legal claims against his companies.
Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump were mentioned in the trial because they were official board members of the Donald J. Trump Foundation – the Trump family can be seen with the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall during the June state visit to England
President Trump was ordered to pay the money in person
In 2007, he settled a dispute with the city of Palm Beach, Florida, about code violations on his Mar-a-Lago estate. The city agreed to waive outstanding fines if Mar-a-Lago gave $ 100,000 to the charity Fisher House.
But the donation came from the foundation and not from the estate, prosecutors continued after Trump had written a letter asking for the move.
In 2012, a Trump golf club agreed to pay $ 158,000 to settle a lawsuit with a man who was denied a $ 1 million hole-in-one prize at a club tournament. The Trump Foundation paid the money instead of the club.
In March, after the Attorney General's investigation was underway, Trump repaid his foundation all $ 258,000 plus more than $ 12,000 in interest, the suit notes.
Underwood said that Trump had already repaid the amounts spent by the foundation, plus a fine of more than $ 4,000 in fines.
In the case of the portrait, she said that the Trump Golf Club provided the foundation with the & # 39; fair rental value & # 39; paid to use the foundation's painting as a decoration. The value: $ 182.
IRS rules also prohibit tax-free foundations to help political campaigns.
But Underwood mentioned two cases in which the Trump foundation seemed to have done this.
In August 2013, Trump donated $ 25,000 from his foundation to a Florida political group that helped the re-election of Attorney General Pam Bondi. Around that time, Bondi's office was considering taking part in a pending lawsuit at what was then New York AG Schneiderman, who claimed that Trump had cheated students on his now-defunct Trump University & # 39 ;.
The Trump Foundation has omitted any mention of Bondi & # 39; s political group in its annual report to the IRS and said instead that the $ 25,000 donation had gone to a non-profit in Kansas with a similar sounding name.
Underwood said that Trump's staff accused the accounting officer's debt of spending the foundation's money instead of Trump's. Regarding the incorrect IRS submission, Underwood wrote: & # 39; the Foundation has no credible explanation for the false report of grant recipients & # 39 ;.
Trump repaid the $ 25,000 and paid a fine of $ 2,500 for an improper political gift after it came to light in a Washington Post investigation series about the Donald J. Trump Foundation during the 2016 campaign.
However, Underwood claims that the campaign that helped Trump was the most of him.
In January 2016, Trump skipped a debate among Republican presidential candidates because he argued with debate host Fox News. Instead, he held a television collection campaign for veterans and brought in millions of wealthy friends and donors of small dollars, many of whom went to his foundation.
Underwood handed the Foundation control of the charity funds it had raised to senior Trump Campaign employees.
She cited emails in which Corey Lewandowski, then campaign leader, directed which charities veterans should receive money.
The Trump Foundation has been in a legal limbo since the election, when the president wanted to resolve it in a growing controversy over her practices. But the foundation could not legally dissolve while under investigation, the New York Attorney General decided.
New York has jurisdiction over the Trump Foundation because the charity is located in Trump Tower in Manhattan and registered in the state of New York.
Trump has chaired the foundation since he founded it in 1987 until it was closed in December.