However the “close second” to child molesters would have to be people who abuse charities. What could be more worthy of admiration than a person who gives altruistically? What could be worse than the use and abuse of a charity? Donald Trump has used and abused charities for his financial gain, to the detriment of the very people he pretends to support.
The Washington Post has done an expose’ on Donald Trump’s use and abuse of Charitable Foundations and the IRS rules related to tax benefits of charitable giving. The Post didn’t address Trump’s failure to support any 9-11 charities
The Post didn’t address Trump’s campaign attempt to appear charitable by using a campaign RV to pass out water in Florida to victims of the recent hurricane.
A thorough review of Trump’s charitable endeavors has revealed fraud, abuse, and self-dealing. In particular:
- In two cases, he has used money from his charity to buy himself a gift. Trump spent $20,000 of money earmarked for charitable purposes to buy a six-foot-tall painting of himself.
2. Money from the Trump Foundation has also been used for political purposes, which is criminal. Trump paid a penalty this year to the Internal Revenue Service for a 2013 donation in which the foundation gave $25,000 to a campaign group affiliated with Florida Attorney General Pamela Bondi (R). In 2013, when the money arrived, Bondi’s office was considering whether to launch an investigation into allegations of fraud by Trump University — accusations that Trump denies. The investigation never started.
3. Trump’s foundation appears to have repeatedly broken IRS rules, which require nonprofit groups to file accurate paperwork. In five cases, the Trump Foundation told the IRS that it had given a gift to a charity whose leaders told The Post that they had never received it.
4. Trump takes charitable gifts to his foundation from other people, and gives those gifts to charities, taking credit for the donation. A perfect example if his gift to the Palm Beach Police Foundation that was identical in amount to a gift given to the Trump foundation by the Evans Foundation. The Evans Foundation gave Trump’s Foundation $150,000 which Trump then donated to the Florida Police Department. Trump was then honored for the gift with the Palm Tree Award for his philanthropy. To rub salt in the wound, Trump made money off the event which was held at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach. The police foundation paid to rent the room. It’s unclear how much was paid in 2010, but the police foundation reported in its tax filings that it rented Mar-a-Lago in 2014 for $276,463.
5. Trump’s foundation has lied to the IRS, reporting that a donation of $25,000 was given to a charity in Kansas called Justice for All. In reality, the Kansas group got no money.
Trump Foundation is represented by New York accountants WeiserMazars. The Washington Post sent them a list of questions, giving them the opportunity to explain the errors. They refused to comment. The Post followed up directly with the Trump Foundation. They declined to comment.
The refusal of Trump to produce his personal tax returns makes this report even more troublesome. If Trump had made a single charitable donation, that would be reflected on his returns. Trump’s manipulation of charitable rules is just one of many ways that Trump has manipulated the tax rules to abuse the system, at our expense.