By Spy Uganda
Donald Trump , the president of the United States of America is in trouble after he was fined USD2M (Shs7,421,622,000) by a New York judge for misuse of his charity, the Trump Foundation, as part of a settlement.
New York State Supreme Court Judge Saliann Scarpulla ordered Trump on Thursday to pay a stiff sum to a group of charities that claimed the Trump Foundation violated the state’s charities laws.
In his ruling, Justice Scarpulla stated that “I direct Mr. Trump to pay the USD2,000,000, which would have gone to the Foundation if it were still in existence, on a pro rata basis to the Approved Recipients.”
The lawsuit was filed in June 2018 by the office of New York’s then-attorney general, Barbara Underwood, over the issue of the Trump Foundation collecting political donations for Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign, which she characterized as “extensive unlawful political coordination.”
The Trump Foundation, which was being managed by Trump’s children Donald, Jr. and Ivanka, has since dissolved itself under court supervision, and a stipulation of that agreement added last month provided for the distribution of the foundation’s remaining assets to charities determined to have no connection to the Trump family.
Accordingly, the USD2m is to be paid by Trump himself, as well as the USD1.78m in Foundation assets, which will be distributed equally to eight charities that include: Army Emergency Relief, the Children’s Aid Society, Citymeals-on-Wheels, Give an Hour, Martha’s Table, United Negro College Fund, United Way of National Capital Area and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a Thursday press release that “The ruling was a major victory in our efforts to protect charitable assets and hold accountable those who would abuse charities for personal gain.”
He added that; “No one is above the law- not a businessman, not a candidate for office, and not even the President of the United States.”
The settlement agreement also imposes “a regime of restriction” on Trump’s future participation in the leadership of charities.
James also reevaled that “Any charity he joins as a director must have a majority of independent directors, must engage counsel with expertise in New York not-for-profit law, and must engage the services of an accounting firm to monitor and audit the organization’s grants and expenses.”
He noted that “If Mr. Trump forms a new charity, such an organization must comply with these requirements, and also report to the Office of the Attorney General for five years.”
However, although the White House is yet to respond, it should be noted that Trump has often characterized the case as being politically motivated by his enemies.