Donald Trump used $258,000 from his charity for legal settlements, reports say


#1

From today’s Guardian:

Donald Trump used $258,000 from his charitable foundation for legal settlements involving his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and a New York golf course, it was reported on Tuesday.

The Washington Post reported that in 2007, Trump used his foundation’s money when his Palm Beach, Florida, club was fined $120,000 by the town for having a flagpole that was almost twice the height allowed under local rules.

As part of a settlement, Trump donated $125,000 to veterans’ charities from the Trump Foundation, the paper reported. The foundation’s money comes mainly from other donors, not Trump himself.

The Post reported that in 2010, a golfer sued when he was denied a $1m prize for a hole-in-one in a charity tournament at Trump’s course outside New York City. A $158,000 settlement also came from Trump’s foundation.

Two weeks ago the Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold cast in doubt Trump’s philanthropy and raised questions about purchases he had made, apparently for himself, using money earmarked for charity.

Now Fahrenthold has uncovered what may be, if there is no unforeseen explanation here (the Trump camp has yet to comment), the biggest abuse yet by Trump of tax laws and the trust of donors to his foundation.

“Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses, according to interviews and a review of legal documents,” Fahrenthold reports:

Those cases, which together used $258,000 from Trump’s charity, were among four newly documented expenditures in which Trump may have violated laws against “self-dealing” – which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses.

theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/20/trump-foundation-settlements-golf-course-mar-a-lago


#2

The following will be used for his defense here.

  1. the Clinton foundation
    Or
  2. the liberal media

#3

From ABC News:

Clinton Camp Slams Trump Over Allegations His Charity Paid His Business Settlements

The Clinton campaign has slammed Donald Trump as “a fraud who believes the rules don’t apply to him” over reports that the GOP presidential candidate used money from his charitable foundation to settle two lawsuits filed against his for-profit businesses.

The Washington Post reported today that Trump made two payments totaling $258,000 to settle suits – one involving The Mar-a-Lago Club that he owns in Florida and another involving one of his golf clubs in New York.

Clinton’s deputy communications director Christina Reynolds put out a statement after the Washington Post story was published, calling Trump a fraud.

“Clearly the Trump Foundation is as much a charitable organization as Trump University is an institute of higher education,” she said.

“Trump’s version of charity is taking money from others to settle his own legal issues … which experts say is a clear violation of laws governing charitable organizations,” Reynolds said.

abcnews.go.com/Politics/clinton-camp-slams-trump-allegations-charity-paid-business/story?id=42226604


#4

If 1 or 2 more stories come out like this. Hillary can say, and this man is complaining about my foundation?

The Clinton foundation should then be a non issue.

You do have the Florida atty. general issue


#5

Someone should have a field day with this. After all, he’s been involved in something like 4,000 lawsuits and this is only one.


#6

Exactly. This is not to say, his opponent is a walking angel bc she’s not. But to say, I rather have him than her bc he has less skeletons in his closet doesn’t seem like a good reason.


#7

Trump does have less skeletons in his closet compared to Hillary. Way less, and that’s a fact. Also, Trump is a private citizen. Hillary was in one of the highest offices in our country. That’s the moral dilemma. Maybe Clinton supporters and Hillary don’t see the major moral and ethical dilemma here.


#8

You don’t think Trump did some greedy deals as a businessman?

Doesn’t that count towards his character?


#9

Of course he probably did, all businessmen have power drives but he wasn’t the Secretary of State and that’s the problem! He wasn’t the President charging people to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom. How much more disgusting do you get?


#10

To me, these are non-stories supporting a phony suggestive headline. Here are the settlements:

"The Washington Post reported that in 2007, Trump used his foundation’s money when his Palm Beach, Florida, club was fined $120,000 by the town for having a flagpole that was almost twice the height allowed under local rules.

As part of a settlement, Trump donated $125,000 to veterans’ charities from the Trump Foundation, the paper reported. The foundation’s money comes mainly from other donors, not Trump himself.

The Post reported that in 2010, a golfer sued when he was denied a $1m prize for a hole-in-one in a charity tournament at Trump’s course outside New York City. A $158,000 settlement also came from Trump’s foundation."

As to the first, it’s not unusual in a settlement in which there are no actual damages to resolve the suit by requiring a charitable donation. That kind of thing happens in courts all over the country.

As to the second, it appears the suit would have been against the foundation operating the charitable tournament, so it would be natural for the defendant, the charitable foundation, to pay the settlement.


#11

What’s a “greedy deal”? One that’s profitable? Is a non-greedy deal one in which one loses money?

I personally don’t mind the Clintons renting out the Lincoln bedroom (though that was theft) as much as I mind the Clintons getting millions of dollars from a Russian company to get 20% of U.S. uranium production, or getting millions from the Laureate school systems in exchange for millions in grants to that system.

As a taxpayer, I have to pay to change the sheets in the Lincoln bedroom anyway. But when the Clintons sell out the national interest or cause a net loss of millions to the country, I truly do resent that.


#12

Any big operation faces a lot of lawsuits. There are around 10,000 pending lawsuits or judgments against Walmart in my state alone. Lowe’s only has about 600. And that’s only for the last several years. Over a lifetime in the big leagues, 4,000 isn’t all that many.


#13

Both have managed to take people to the cleaners, so to speak. He through the disastrous bankruptcy code and she through her national security risks. Thus the widespread despise for both candidates. People who get screwed or insulted don’t forget.

Neither seems to hold the higher moral ground concerning their respective foundations.

As I said before, this is a race to the bottom as more is being discovered.

Fair point. As I said above people who get screwed don’t forget.


#14

That’s exactly right, especially while Hillary held the position of Secretary of State. She used her power to make the foundation and herself rich. It’s unethical and the public resents it the more they hear about it. What will she sell if she becomes the President, all the uranium (or the country down the drain)?


#15

It could be well to learn something about Chapter 11 of the Code. Claims get adjudicated by Federal Bankruptcy judges, the owner’s equity goes away first if there are losses, and the objective is to keep the business going so it can pay every legitimate claim.

One would have to know a lot about the particular Chapter 11 proceedings to know whether anybody got shorted in the outcome. People simply claiming they did does not mean they did. I have yet to see anybody really analyze any of them.


#16

Well someone has to go to the top. We know what Hillary will do when she’s in office, we don’t know what Trump will do. I think it’s worth taking a risk with Trump.


#17

I don’t know all the code but I know If the owner pays himself a salary and perhaps bonus, that as well as all salaries have to be paid before the contractors and others. As you say, his ownership is among the first to go. Or it’s sold to someone else. Some can and have made out like bandits on BKs.

Today I was watching the hearings on the Wells Fargo situation and it seems like the whole corporate system has gone corrupt.


#18

The bankruptcy judge decides what the owner gets paid, and whether the owner is the most competent to run the company. That’s based on the judge’s belief about whether the owner, a trustee appointed by the judge, or a nominee of the creditors’ committee is the person most likely to bring the business out of bankruptcy instead of sending it into Chapter 7.

Some contractors have priority over other contractors, and contractors who continue to supply goods and services during the proceeding have “super priority”. The worst treated in Chapter 11 are “insiders” and (oftentimes large, unsecured) creditors that have gotten the company into a short term credit squeeze and demand full and immediate payment that would destroy the company.

I don’t know the details of all of Trump’s Chapter 11 proceedings or lawsuits, but I do know that in one instance Deutschebank was the precipitator. It caught one of Trump’s companies in a short term bind during the recession and demanded properties more valuable than the debt. Trump sued Deutschebank and won, backing them off. Later, he paid Deutschebank in full and Deutchebank was eager to lend him money again after that. Sometimes the greed is on the creditor’s side of things, and sometimes Chapter 11 is the only way to stop them from destroying a company.

I don’t know much about the Wells Fargo thing. I would, however, acknowledge that there is corruption in corporations. Some of it is generated during tough periods when lower level people are under a lot of pressure to perform at unrealistic levels and start taking improper short cuts; sometimes bending the law or regulations, sometimes breaking them.
I don’t know how high the Wells Fargo corruption went. I guess we’ll find out.


#19

I agree. In the first settlement, if Trump’s company would have donated the $125,000 from the for-profit company, they would have been eligible for a tax deduction. Since non-profit foundations are tax exempt, it makes sense to make this donation (which was part of a settlement) from the foundation so no tax deduction was accidently made.

In regards to where the funds came from for his foundation, unlike charities, foundations are typically funded PRIMARLY by the family or corporation they are associated with. Yes, they sometimes receive money from other donors, but they are primarily funded by their associated family/corporation.

501c3.org/public-charity-vs-private-foundation/
irs.gov/charities-non-profits/eo-operational-requirements-private-foundations-and-public-charities

In regards to the 2nd… as Ridgerunner mentioned, there is a 99% chance that the golf tournament was sponsored by the Trump Foundation, so it make sense that the Trump Foundation pays the bill.


#20

It’s not unusual to settle with a charitable donation, but it’s extremely unusual and probably illegal to to make that charitable donation with money from a charity you run.

As to the second, it appears the suit would have been against the foundation operating the charitable tournament, so it would be natural for the defendant, the charitable foundation, to pay the settlement.

The foundation operating the tournament was NBA player Alonzo Mourning’s charity. Trump was sued as his golf course allegedly made the holes too short to qualify for the prize. The Trump Foundation was not involved in the tournament, so the only reason to pay the settlement with Foundation funds is because it’s money donated by other people.


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