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NY Attorney General sends Trump Foundation cease and desist letter

The Trump Foundation must cease and desist all fundraising conducted in New York because it isn’t properly registered with the state, the New York Attorney General’s office said in a notice of violation.

The notice was issued to the Trump Foundation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office on Friday and his office revealed the move on Monday.

In the two-page notice, it says that Donald Trump’s charity violated a state law that requires charitable organizations that solicit contributions in New York State to register with the Charities Bureau and to provide annual financial reports and annual audited financial statements. The notice goes on to say that while the Trump Foundation solicited donations and engaged in fundraising this year, it is not and was not registered with the bureau.

“The Trump Foundation must immediately cease soliciting contributions or engaging in any other fundraising activities in New York,” the notice says. “Further, the Trump Foundation must notify any third parties engaged in solicitation or fundraising activities in New York on its behalf to immediately cease any such activities.”

The attorney general’s office also said that if the foundation fails to immediately discontinue solicitation and fails to file requested information that’s required within 15 days of the notice, the bureau “shall be deemed to be a continuing fraud upon the people of the state of New York.”

In a statement, Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks questioned Schneiderman’s motives since he’s a Democrat, but she said that the foundation will cooperate with the investigation.

“While we remain very concerned about the political motives behind AG Schneiderman’s investigation, the Trump Foundation nevertheless intends to cooperate fully with the investigation,” Hicks said. “Because this is an ongoing legal matter, the Trump Foundation will not comment further at this time.”

The cease-and-desist letter was issued a day after The Washington Post reported that Trump’s foundation never obtained the certification required to solicit donations from the public.

Last month, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman revealed that his office had been investigating the Trump Foundation’s activities to see if it violated state law.

Schneiderman explained that the initial line of inquiry involved the breaking of tax laws by Trump’s foundation when it made a $25,000 political contribution to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. The Washington Post reported that the Trump might have also violated IRS rules by spending his nonprofit’s money to buy a $20,000 portrait of himself and a $12,000 autographed football helmet. The Post also reported last month that Trump used his foundation to settle lawsuits that involved his businesses, spending more than $250,000 from the Trump Foundation over the last decade.

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