Trump Pays $2 Million Fine; Foundation Assets Liquidated, Distributed

Eight charities received almost a half-million dollars each from the remaining $1.78 million in assets of the Donald J. Trump Foundation and a $2-million fine paid by President Donald J. Trump.

The payments were part of a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the New York Attorney General’s Office in June 2018.

Resolution of the lawsuit was announced Nov. 7 in which the president was ordered to pay $2 million, to be distributed equally to eight charities. The remaining assets in the foundation’s bank account totaled $1,797,598.30 and Trump also was forced to reimburse the foundation $11,525 for sports paraphernalia and champagne purchased at a charity gala, bringing the total to a combined $1,809,123.30, split evenly among eight organizations.

The eight charities that received $476,140.41 each were:

  • Army Emergency Relief
  • Children’s Aid Society
  • Citymeals-on-Wheels
  • Give an Hour
  • Martha’s Table
  • United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
  • United Way of National Capital Area
  • U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

A spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based Holocaust museum confirmed that two payments were received in November totaling $476,140.41.

The Attorney General’s Office sued, complaining that the foundation’s board — which included Trump, his children and a Trump Organization official — ignored oversight duties under state charity laws. The suit also alleged that Trump used foundation money for personal, business and political interests, including coordination with his 2017 presidential campaign.

“If there’s a message for the nonprofit community out there, the Trump Foundation is a classic example of a complete failure of meeting its fiduciary duty of care,” said Philip Hackney, an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and former attorney in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Office of Chief Counsel. The board never met in the 17 years that the organization existed, he said, which means it did not review policy and awarded grants “willy-nilly.”

“The bottom line: it was not unusual for what was done, it was unusual for the fact that it was the president of the United States,” Hackney said after the settlement was announced. “It is odd for the president of the United States to not operate a charity in New York state without significant supervision,” he said after the settlement was announced in November.

New York Attorney General Letitia James released a statement today after the payment was made via wire transfer. “Not only has the Trump Foundation shut down for its misconduct, but the president has been forced to pay $2 million for misusing charitable funds for his own political gain,” she said in part.

As part of the settlement, Trump was required to make 19 admissions, acknowledging his personal misuse of funds at the Trump Foundation, and agreed to restrictions on future charitable service, and ongoing reporting to the Attorney General should he create a new charity.

The settlement also stipulated mandatory training requirements for his three adult children, Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump. They have already fulfilled those requirements, according to the attorney general’s office. The Trump Foundation closed last December and dissolved under court supervision, per the settlement.