Reddit | belisaurius

Judge Orders Trump To Pay $2 Million For Misusing Charitable Donations

One piece of wisdom my mother has often shared with me is that no idea is perfect as long as people are responsible for running it. No matter how beautiful and noble a concept may be on paper, it's all but inevitable that somebody will find a way to use it for their own personal gain.

Unfortunately, not even charitable organizations are immune to this issue. While we might expect that they're established entirely to help people, we can often find that a large percentage of our donations will go to their administration, rather than the causes they're intended to help.

And that's already a fact of life when that organization is operating by the book. As one high profile case illustrates, there can be serious implications for the community this charity finds itself in if it's running afoul of the law.

Up until Thursday, President Donald Trump and his children Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr. have been involved in a lawsuit by the New York Attorney General's office.

Reddit | belisaurius

As NBC News reported, this concerned the now-defunct Trump Foundation that the Trump children were named as directors of.

Justice Salliann Scarpulla wrote, "Mr. Trump’s fiduciary duty breaches included allowing his campaign to orchestrate the Fundraiser, allowing his campaign, instead of the Foundation, to direct distribution of the Funds, and using the Fundraiser and distribution of the Funds to further Mr. Trump’s political campaign."

The suit concerning this alleged misuse of donations culminated with the dissolution of the Trump Foundation in December of 2018.

Reddit | notrub95

As part of the settlement where this dissolution was decided, the court ruled that the $1.7 million held by the foundation at the time would be redirected to eight nonprofit organization, which included the Children's Aid Society, the United Negro College Fund, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

However, this wasn't the extent of the money that President Trump would need to pay out.

Reddit | ShouldBeAnUpvoteGif

The settlement also held that Justice Scarpulla would be empowered to determine the amount of additional damages Trump would pay for any misuse of funding, which she has now decided will total at $2 million.

This money will go to the same eight organizations as the foundation's December holdings.

The reason for these damages and their scale largely concerns a fundraising event Trump held on January 28, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Reddit | mozumder

As NBC News reported, this was nominally a fundraiser for veterans that ended raising over $2.8 million.

Instead, however, this money ended up being funneled directly into the Trump Foundation.

Reddit | Geofferic

Although the money did eventually find its way to charities supporting veterans, this wasn't before some of it was distributed in the form of giant checks at various campaign rallies throughout Iowa.

This misdirection led the New York Attorney General to recommend awarding damages for the entire $2,823,000 raised.

Reddit | Lord_Schannep

However, Scarpulla opted to set the total at $2 million in light of the fact that the money in question did eventually reach the intended veteran's charities.

The settlement also revealed that Trump agreed to pay his foundation back for $11,525 he used at a Susan G. Komen benefit in 2012.

Reddit | Mike_August

President Trump had taken this money to buy a Denver Broncos helmet signed by Tim Tebow, as well as a Tebow jersey that had been auctioned off at this fundraiser.

In accordance with this settlement, Trump also admitted that he had personally misused Trump Foundation funds.

Reddit | [deleted]

Furthermore, the settlement called for Eric, Ivanka, and Donald Trump Jr. to enroll in mandatory training as they were the foundation's former directors.

h/t: NBC News