The following article by Lachlan Markay was posted on the Daily Beast website January 11, 2018:
Before he resigned from his charity, Eric Trump continued to host events that benefited his father’s empire.
Eric Trump’s controversial charitable foundation paid nearly $150,000 to Trump Organization companies in 2016, as donations to the group skyrocketed amid Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Newly released annual tax filings for the group, now called the Curetivity Foundation, show that it shelled out to Trump properties in Florida and New York for fundraising events, including its annual charity golf tournament.
Eric Trump stepped aside from his role atop the foundation last year amid intense scrutiny over its payments to various Trump companies. Trump’s critics have suggested those payments could run afoul of rules against the use of nonprofit organizations for the benefit of their officers or directors.
Curetivity paid a total of $145,145 to four Trump companies in 2016, which was a significant decline from 2015, when it shelled out $322,000 to the family’s business empire. According to its 2016 tax filing, Curetivity paid $98,730 to Trump’s golf club in Westchester, $13,000 to another golf club in the Bronx, $10,759 to Mar-a-Lago, and $22,656 to the Trump SoHo hotel.
Each of those expenditures bought services valued at more than the sum of the foundation’s payments, according to the filing. According to a June story in Forbes, Donald Trump previously insisted that his son’s foundation pay for events held at Trump properties, even though those goods and services could be offered for free.
Fundraising events brought in more than $1.7 million for the foundation in 2016, the new tax filing shows. It says that it paid $1.3 million of that sum to the events’ charitable beneficiaries, and spent all of the remaining income—to the dollar—on event expenses, leaving it with exactly $0 in net income.
The foundation’s past payments to Trump companies have led to intense public scrutiny. After the Forbes report, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a frequent Trump legal antagonist before and during his presidency, opened a preliminary probe into whether Curetivity was improperly benefitting the Trump family. A Schneiderman spokesperson declined to comment on the foundation’s new tax filing, but said “the investigation is ongoing.”
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