Eric Trump Foundation: Charity or fraud?

WHAT IT IS

  • June 6, 2017: Forbes published a story about how President Donald Trump used his son Eric Trump’s charity organization to funnel money into the Donald J. Trump Foundation.
  • The article notes spikes in the price of assets for Eric Trump’s annual golf charity tournaments, despite his claim of obtaining the tournament assets for free.
  • The Eric Trump Foundation (public charity) raises money for children’s cancer research, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.
  • The New York Attorney General is currently investigating the foundation.
  • THE INVESTIGATORS – “The facts are all there”

    • From the IRS:   Expenses for Eric Trump’s golf fundraiser jumped from $59,085 in 2012 to $242,294 in 2014.
    • Check the history:   Eric Trump has a history of distributing his donated money to non-charitable places, including paying for personal trips to the Trump National Golf course.
    • Covering up:   Of all the charities Donald Trump was associated with, only one donation by him of about $10,000 was discovered, despite Eric Trump’s claim that his father donates millions to both the Eric Trump Foundation and other organizations.
  • THE DUBIOUS – “Something doesn’t add up”

    • A big “if”:   Up until 2011, Eric Trump was allowed to use his father’s golf courses free of charge for the tournament, but there is no evidence that the increased flow of cash to Trump Organization was insisted by Donald Trump himself.
    • Charitable donations:   The Eric Trump organization has raised more than $11 million for the pediatric center.
    • Actual consequences?:   Because Eric Trump is no longer running the Eric Trump Foundation, any punishment he may receive would be ineffective.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

  • Eric Trump has since denied the claims, stating  “Contrary to recent reports, at no time did the Trump Organization profit in any way from the foundation”.
  • According to the organization’s website, Eric Trump officially resigned from his position as director of the Eric Trump Foundation as of December 31, 2016.
  • Forbes published a story regarding Eric Trump giving donor money for his organizations to other foundations.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • Look over some of the organization’s IRS forms here.
  • Watch a video explaining Forbes’ story on the Eric Trump Foundation.