The Trump Foundation, which is under investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office, never obtained the necessary certification to solicit money from the public during its nearly 30-year existence, an investigation by the state’s attorney general’s office has found, a source briefed on the investigation tells ABC News.
New York State law requires any charity that solicits more than $25,000 a year from the public to obtain a specific kind of certification.
The allegation about the Donald J. Trump Foundation’s lack of certification, first reported by the Washington Post, comes about two weeks after New York State attorney general Eric Schneiderman — a Hillary Clinton supporter — announced he had opened a broad inquiry into the foundation.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment and the AG’s office declined comment.
In a statement released when the inquiry was announced earlier this month, Trump campaign Jason Miller blasted Schneiderman.
“Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is a partisan hack who has turned a blind eye to the Clinton Foundation for years and has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President,” he said. This is nothing more than another left-wing hit job designed to distract from Crooked Hillary Clinton’s disastrous week.”
Tax forms for the foundation list Trump as its president and Allen Weisselberg, the CFO of the Trump Organization, as the treasurer. As of 2006, Trump’s three eldest children -— Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump —- have been listed as directors of the charity.
The broad inquiry into the foundation focused on a $25,000 donation the organization gave to a group supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. The donation drew scrutiny because Bondi’s office declined to join a lawsuit against Trump’s now-shuttered Trump University.
Both Trump and Bondi have denied the allegations or any impropriety. But Trump did pay a $2,500 fine to the IRS because charities are not allowed to give to political causes. Trump also reimbursed the foundation $25,000
As ABC News previously reported, the foundation’s financial forms for 2001 through 2014 are currently available.
The biggest contributor from 2011 to 2014 was Richard Ebers, a man associated with an event-ticketing company, Inside Sports and Entertainment, according to the 990 forms.
Ebers donated more than $1.8 million to the foundation from 2011 to 2014, and he was the largest contributor each of those years.
(h/t ABC News)