Trump spend $258000 charity money to settle legal problems

楼主 (北美华人网)
Donald 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.
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.
In one case, from 2007, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club faced $120,000 in unpaid fines from the town of Palm Beach, Fla., resulting from a dispute over the size of a flagpole.
In a settlement, Palm Beach agreed to waive those fines — if Trump’s club made a $100,000 donation to a specific charity for veterans. Instead, Trump sent a check from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a charity funded almost entirely by other people’s money, according to tax records.
In another case, court papers say one of Trump’s golf courses in New York agreed to settle a lawsuit by making a donation to the plaintiff’s chosen charity. A $158,000 donation was made by the Trump Foundation, according to tax records.
The other expenditures involved smaller amounts. In 2013, Trump used $5,000 from the foundation to buy advertisements touting his chain of hotels in programs for three events organized by a D.C. preservation group. And in 2014, Trump spent $10,000 of the foundation’s money for a portrait of himself bought at a charity fundraiser.
Or, rather, another portrait of himself.
Several years earlier, Trump had used $20,000 from the Trump Foundation to buy a different, six foot-tall portrait.
If the Internal Revenue Service were to find that Trump violated self-dealing rules, the agency could require him to pay penalty taxes or to reimburse the foundation for all the money it spent on his behalf. Trump is also facing scrutiny from the office of the New York attorney general, which is examining whether the foundation broke state charity laws.
More broadly, these cases also provide new evidence that Trump ran his charity in a way that may have violated U.S. tax law and gone against the moral conventions of philanthropy.
“I represent 700 nonprofits a year, and I’ve never encountered anything so brazen,” said Jeffrey Tenenbaum, who advises charities at the Venable law firm in Washington. After The Post described the details of these Trump Foundation gifts, Tenenbaum described them as “really shocking.”
“If he’s using other people’s money — run through his foundation — to satisfy his personal obligations, then that’s about as blatant an example of self-dealing [as] I’ve seen in a while,” Tenenbaum said.
The Post sent the Trump campaign a detailed list of questions about the four cases, but received no response.
The New York attorney general’s office declined to comment when asked whether its inquiry would cover these new cases of possible self-dealing.
Trump founded his charity in 1987 and, for years, was its only donor. But in 2006, Trump gave away almost all of the money he had donated to the foundation, leaving it with just $4,238 at year’s end, according to tax records.
Then, he transformed the Trump Foundation into something rarely seen in the world of philanthropy: a name-branded foundation, whose namesake provides none of its money. Trump gave relatively small donations in 2007 and 2008, and afterward: nothing. The foundation’s tax records show no donations from Trump since 2009.
Its money has come from other donors, most notably pro-wrestling executives Vince and Linda McMahon, who gave a total of $5 million from 2007 to 2009, tax records show. Trump remains the foundation’s president, and he told the IRS in his latest public filings that he works half an hour per week on the charity.
The Post has previously detailed other cases in which Trump used the charity’s money in a way that appeared to violate the law.
In 2013, for instance, the foundation gave $25,000 to a political group supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R). That gift was made around the same time that Bondi’s office was considering whether to investigate fraud allegations against Trump University. It didn’t.
Tax laws say nonprofits such as the Trump Foundation may not make political gifts. Trump staffers blamed the gift on a clerical error. After The Post reported on the gift to Bondi’s group this spring, Trump paid a $2,500 penalty tax and reimbursed the Trump Foundation for the $25,000 donation.
In other instances, it appeared that Trump may have violated rules against self-dealing.
In 2012, for instance, Trump spent $12,000 of the foundation’s money to buy a football helmet signed by NFL quarterback Tim Tebow.
And in 2007, Trump’s wife, Melania, bid $20,000 for the six-foot-tall portrait of Trump, done by a “speed painter” during a charity gala at Mar-a-Lago. Later, Trump paid for the painting with $20,000 from the foundation.
In those cases, tax experts said, Trump was not allowed to simply keep these items and display them in a home or business. They had to be put to a charitable use.
Trump’s campaign has not responded to questions about what became of the helmet or the portrait.
The four new cases of possible self-dealing were discovered in the Trump Foundation’s tax filings. While Trump has refused to release his personal tax returns, the foundation’s filings are required to be public.
The case involving the flagpole at Trump’s oceanfront Mar-a-Lago Club began in 2006, when the club put up a giant American flag on the 80-foot pole. Town rules said flagpoles should be 42 feet high at most. Trump’s contention, according to news reports, was: “You don’t need a permit to put up the American flag.”
The town began to fine Trump, $1,250 a day.
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Trump’s club sued in federal court, saying that a smaller flag “would fail to appropriately express the magnitude of Donald J. Trump’s . . . patriotism.”
They settled.
The town waived the $120,000 in fines. In September 2007, Trump wrote the town a letter, saying he had done his part as well.
“I have sent a check for $100,000 to Fisher House,” he wrote. The town had chosen Fisher House, which runs a network of comfort homes for the families of veterans and military personnel receiving medical treatment, as the recipient of the money. Trump added that, for good measure, “I have sent a check for $25,000” to another charity, the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.
Trump provided the town with copies of the checks, which show that they came from the Trump Foundation.
In the town of Palm Beach, nobody seems to have objected that the fines assessed on Trump’s business were being erased by a donation from a charity.
“I don’t know that there was any attention paid to that at the time. We just saw two checks signed by Donald J. Trump,” said John Randolph, the Palm Beach town attorney. “I’m sure we were satisfied with it.”
In the other case in which a Trump Foundation payment seemed to help settle a legal dispute, the trouble began with a hole-in-one.
In 2010, a man named Martin Greenberg hit a hole-in-one on the 13th hole while playing in a charity tournament at Trump’s course in Westchester County, N.Y.
Greenberg won a $1 million prize. Briefly.
Later, Greenberg was told that he had won nothing. The prize’s rules required that the shot had to go 150 yards. But Trump’s course had allegedly made the hole too short.
Greenberg sued.
Eventually, court papers show, Trump’s golf course signed off on a settlement that required it to make a donation of Martin Greenberg’s choosing. Then, on the day that the parties informed the court they had settled their case, a $158,000 donation was sent to the Martin Greenberg Foundation.
That money came from the Trump Foundation, according to the tax filings of both Trump’s and Greenberg’s foundations.
Greenberg’s foundation reported getting nothing that year from Trump personally or from his golf club.
Both Greenberg and Trump have declined to comment.
Several tax experts said that the two cases appeared to be clear cases of self-dealing, as defined by the tax code.
The Trump Foundation had made a donation, it seemed, so that a Trump business did not have to.
Rosemary E. Fei, a lawyer in San Francisco who advises nonprofits, said both cases clearly fit the definition of self-dealing.
“Yes, Trump pledged as part of the settlement to make a payment to a charity, and yes, the foundation is writing a check to a charity,” Fei said. “But the obligation was Trump’s. And you can’t have a charitable foundation paying off Trump’s personal obligations. That would be classic self-dealing.”
In another instance, from 2013, the Trump Foundation made a $5,000 donation to the D.C. Preservation League, according to the group and tax filings. That nonprofit’s support has been helpful for Trump as he has turned the historic Old Post Office Pavilion on Washington’s Pennsylvania Avenue NW into a luxury hotel.
The Trump Foundation’s donation to that group bought a “sponsorship,” which included advertising space in the programs for three big events that drew Washington’s real estate elite. The ads did not mention the foundation or anything related to charity. Instead, they promoted Trump’s hotels, with glamorous photos and a phone number to call to make a reservation.
“The foundation wrote a check that essentially bought advertising for Trump hotels?” asked John Edie, the longtime general counsel for the Council on Foundations, when a Post reporter described this arrangement. “That’s not charity.”
The last of the four newly documented expenditures involves the second painting of Trump, which he bought with charity money.
It happened in 2014, during a gala at Mar-a-Lago that raised money for Unicorn Children’s Foundation — a Florida charity that helps children with developmental and learning disorders.
The gala’s main event was a concert by Jon Secada. But there was also an auction of paintings by Havi Schanz, a Miami Beach-based artist.
One was of Marilyn Monroe. The other was a four foot-tall portrait of Trump: a younger-looking, mid-’90s Trump, painted in acrylic on top of an old architectural drawing.
Trump bought it for $10,000.
Afterward, Schanz recalled in an email, “he asked me about the painting. I said, ‘I paint souls, and when I had to paint you, I asked your soul to allow me.’ He was touched and smiled.”
A few days later, the charity said, a check came from the Trump Foundation. Trump himself gave nothing, according to Sharon Alexander, the executive director of the charity.
Trump’s staff did not respond to questions about where that second painting is now. Alexander said she had last seen it at Trump’s club.
“I’m pretty sure we just left it at Mar-a-Lago,” she said, “and his staff took care of it.”
David A. Fahrenthold covers the 2016 presidential campaign for The Washington Post. He has been at the Post since 2000, and previously covered Congress, the federal bureaucracy, the environment, and the D.C. police.
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If you are going to make a big fuss and question your political opponent's charity organization, you better make sure yours is squeaky clean. Surely someone on the GOP's side, or a single braincell in Trump's head must have at some point come to the realization this could totally backfire.
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I think Trump attacked the Clinton Foundation because he knew his charity was corrupt. That way, when people look into his charity it becomes a story of "Both Sides Do It." It's a way of inoculating against his scandal.
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  【想当官 忙撇清】






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64名议员联名信举报 IRS回应调查克林顿基金非法敛财
章来源: 观察者 于 2016-07-28 08:20:05 - 新闻取自各大新闻媒体,新闻内容并不代表本网立场!

据美国Fox News7月27日报道,美国国税局在一封信中证实,正在对克林顿基金会“付费服务”(pay-to-play)的违法敛财活动进行调查。这项调查缘起于 64名共和党议员向IRS、FBI和FTC递交举报信。举报信要求对这个由家族基金会潜在的“违法敛财行为”进行调查,并特别提到Laureate教育公司,Uranium One矿业公司和克林顿基金会之间的利益关联,以及基金会违反了作为“免税组织”的相关规定。(观察者网注:IRS为美国国税局,FBI为美国联邦调查局,FTC为联邦贸易委员会)  

报道称,Laureate教育公司授予比尔克林顿荣誉董事职位,薪酬1650万美元;同时向克林顿基金会经常性捐赠100-500万美元。在希拉里担任国务卿时期,世界银行下属国际金融公司IFC曾向Laureate投资1.5亿美元,而美国政府正是IFC的最大金主。  本周二(26日),共和党议员Blackburn在一份声明中称,“从我们收集到的信息来看,足以表明克林顿基金会是一个伪装成慈善组织、实际上进行“付费服务”的机构,它必须被调查。克林顿夫妇以牺牲美国外交为代价,利用基金会扩充个人财富。最起码,必须立即撤销或审查该基金会的免税地位。”  

共和党议员的举报信件主要集中在三个未解决的争议,这些问题在施伟泽(Peter Schweizer)2015年的新书《克林顿摇钱树》(“Clinton Cash”)和纽约时报的报道中曾提到,包括涉及到与基金会原始备案501(C)(3)档案的矛盾,交易一家名为Uranium One的公司,以及克林顿基金与Laureate国际大学之间的关系,Laureate是一家盈利性质的教育集团。  


在克林顿收取Laureate薪酬时, 希拉里担任国务卿。 这个期间,世界银行下属国际金融公司IFC向 Laureate投资1.5亿美元。此为IFC历史上最大的此类单项投资。问题是,美国政府是IFC的最大金主,其投资是美国政府掌控的。  

与此同时,美国国际开发署向国际青年基金IYF拨款5500万美元。而Laureate的CEO Douglas Becker是IYF的董事会成员。克林顿基金和Laureate共同参与IYF的项目。  

另外,IFC也向克林顿的朋友Frank Giustra的一家公司投资1.5亿美元,而Frank Giustra则向克林顿基金捐献一亿美元成立Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership项目。  

Frank Giustra拥有的另一家Uranium One采矿公司,Giustra打算将其哈萨克斯坦铀矿业务卖给俄国原子能机构,但此交易需美国政府批准。而当时正是希拉里担任国务卿时期,该交易最终获得了批准。  

所以,有分析人士认为, 希拉里的一些邮件只用私人邮件系统,根本不用公家的邮件系统,绝对不是一般的荒疏。在这一点上,希拉里的竞争对手特朗普也抓住机会向普京喊话:“俄罗斯,如果你在听,我希望你能挖到失踪的30000封邮件。我们的媒体会感激死你的……她(希拉里)可能删掉了33000封邮件…应该是这样…你们能在里边找到很多好东西。”虽然俄罗斯外长对此喊话的态度是,不想讲脏话……  

希拉里的竞选团队发言人在给Fox News的一份声明中称,这只是另一起来自白宫共和党人的毫无根据的政治攻击而已。他们花了2年时间和来自纳税人的700万美元来成立假的班加西委员会(Benghazi Committee),并将广受质疑的《克林顿的摇钱树》拿出来嚼一遍自称揭露真相。  





当时,“克林顿摇钱树”(“Clinton Cash”)一书作者施伟泽(Peter Schweizer)在福克斯新闻(Fox News)说,“人们看到的一系列行动对克林顿的捐款人非常有利……我认为这值得调查。”同时,《纽约时报》也报道称,拿到一份有关克林顿基金会接收海外捐款情况的新书复印件,披露希拉里任国务卿期间给金主“回馈”。克林顿基金会至今筹得近20亿美元。除了接收捐款,基金会还接受作为礼物馈赠的股票、房地产和财务计划等。在施伟泽新书中看来,基金会的很多事情都实在是非常“巧合”,包括Uranium One采矿公司的交易。  

又有华尔街分析师奥特尔指出,克林顿基金会前年的免税申请足足迟交了半年,独立核算报告在免税申请递交后一个月才完成,基金会帐目不清且未向公众公开。从 而有媒体称,克林顿夫妇疑曾挪用克林顿基金会中的巨额善款。  


据德国之声报道,基金会负责人帕利(Maura Pally)写道,“是的,就像其它许多这么大规模的组织一样,我们犯了错误,”,“不过,我们很快行动了起来,采取了措施,确保未来不再有类似过失”。帕利称,根据基金会的主动建议,目前,外部人员正对基金会的税务报告作审查。她称,政府补助已被正确列出,经审查的税务报告可以在基金会网站上看到。  





在希拉里辞去国务卿一职后,基金会放弃了不接受外国政府捐款的限制。根据基金会网站上所介绍的捐款使用情况,克林顿基金会自成立以来一共接受了外国政府的 4800万美元捐款。还有数个国家为基金会新发起的目标数额2.5亿美元的“慈善基金”项目提供了捐款,其中捐款100万至500万美元的有阿联酋和阿曼,捐款在1000万至2500万美元的有沙特。另外,德国、澳大利亚、卡特尔、挪威、意大利和荷兰也捐了款。  




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How long before he threatens to sue them like he just did to the New York Times?
This dude gets to appoint SCOTUS judges if he wins. SCOTUS judges say what the First Amendment means. He has said he wants to appoint judges that would overturn NY Times v. Sullivan, the very case that assures articles like these are protected.
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YRG 发表于 9/20/2016 1:28:41 PM

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Newly released Clinton emails shed light on relationship between State Dept. and Clinton Foundation

By Daniella Diaz, Pamela Brown and Elise Labott, CNN
Updated 8:18 PM ET, Wed August 10, 2016
Newly-released Clinton emails raise questions

Washington (CNN)Newly released emails from Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state raise questions about the nature of the department's relationship with the Clinton Foundation.

Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, released 296 pages of emails from the Democratic presidential nominee, including 44 that Judicial Watch says were not previously handed over to the State Department by Clinton. The emails, many of which are heavily redacted, raise questions about the Clinton Foundation's influence on the State Department and its relations during her tenure.
In one instance, top Clinton Foundation official Doug Band lobbied Clinton aides for a job for someone else in the State Department. In the email, Band tells Hillary Clinton's former aides at the department -- Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin -- that it is "important to take care of (redacted)." Band is reassured by Abedin that "Personnel has been sending him options."The emails were obtained by the group through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch against the State Department in 2015. The group did not respond to a CNN request for comment.
The Trump campaign seized at the new batch of emails, citing them as evidence of Clinton being corrupt. The prolonged investigations into her use of a private email server while at the State Department has fueled public distrust of her and plagued her presidential bid. But the Justice Department declined to press charges against Clinton for her handling of classified information related to the server earlier this year, with FBI Director James Comey saying while she was "extremely careless," it was his judgment that "no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case."In a 2009 email, Band directs Abedin and Mills to put Gilbert Chagoury, a Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire and Clinton Foundation donor, in contact with the State Department's "substance person" on Lebanon.
"We need Gilbert Chagoury to speak to the substance person re Lebanon," Band wrote. "As you know, he's a key guy there and to us and is loved in Lebanon. Very imp."
"It's jeff feltman," Abedin responded, referring to Jeffrey Feltman, who was the US ambassador to Lebanon at the time. "I'm sure he knows him. I'll talk to jeff."
Feltman told CNN Wednesday that he never met with Chagoury.
"I have never met nor spoken with Mr Chagoury. I was not aware of the proposal that he speak to me until this email exchange was released, but in any case we never spoke," he said.
Judicial Watch President Tom Filton said in a press release that Clinton "hid" the 44 emails on purpose.
"No wonder Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin hid emails from the American people, the courts and Congress," he said in a press release. "They show the Clinton Foundation, Clinton donors, and operatives worked with Hillary Clinton in potential violation of the law."
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