New questions raised about how Trump used his foundation

Trump foundation spending

Donald Trump is under fire for reports, including those from the Washington Post, saying he used money from his charitable foundation for business and personal expenses. CBS News has new details on one of the payments.  

Did Trump use foundation money to settle legal suits?

 At a 2010 charity golf tournament at a Trump Westchester golf course, Martin Greenberg thought he’d won a million dollars when he hit a hole in one.      

But the insurance company that was supposed to pay out balked, saying the tee was set up wrong. Greenberg sued the tournament’s sponsor, the charity of former NBA player Alonzo Mourning, and Donald Trump’s club.
Trump’s campaign says to help pay for the resulting settlement, Trump donated lifetime memberships at his golf courses. They were auctioned through an online charity website that said proceeds would benefit the Donald J. Trump Foundation and Mourning’s charity. The winner was still required to pay $1,500 monthly dues.

Florida doctor Steven Shapiro had the winning bid. He’s listed as donating $157,250 to the Trump foundation on their tax forms.   

Trump Foundation investigated for possible improper spending

Months later, the Trump Foundation cut a check for $158,000 to Martin Greenberg’s foundation, which got the settlement money. 

Marcus Owens ran the charity section at the IRS, and said raising money for one charity to give to another for a settlement could be problematic

“That was a misrepresentation in fundraising.” 

The Trump campaign says the charity auction site made a mistake, and the listing should not have included Trump’s foundation.  However, it could not provide any evidence anyone tried to correct the error, and the website told us they “were engaged by the Donald J. Trump Foundation.”

Owens says the arrangement raises more questions about what might be in the Trump tax returns.

“It could be a broader, more tangled web here of the foundation being used to advance the personal business interests, [and] potentially just the personal interest, of Donald Trump.”

A Trump campaign official says Trump did not write off the value of the lifetime memberships, but without his tax returns there is no way to know. 

He said Trump did not have a financial obligation under the confidential settlement, but contributed out of the “goodness of his heart.” 

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    Julianna Goldman is a CBS News correspondent based in the Washington bureau.