The office of New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has issued a Notice of Violation to the Donald J. Trump Foundation and directed the foundation to cease and desist from soliciting contributions in the state.
Dated September 30 and signed by James G. Sheehan, head of the state's Charities Bureau, the notice says that the foundation, which had been fundraising in New York earlier in the year, "is in violation of section 172 of Article 7-A New York's Executive Law, which 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 directs the foundation to "immediately cease soliciting contributions or engaging in other fundraising activities in New York,...to provide the Charities Bureau with the information specified in Section 172," and to "file all delinquent financial reports" for other years in which the foundation was engaged in solicitation or fundraising activity within fifteen days.
Schneiderman's office began investigating the foundation last month following reports in the media of questionable practices at the organization, including its use of funds to settle lawsuits against Trump's businesses and to make a campaign donation to a group associated with Florida Republican attorney general Pamela Bondi. Schneiderman, a supporter of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, has asserted in a separate, pending case that Trump defrauded students who enrolled in Trump University, his for-profit educational company.
"While we remain very concerned about the political motives behind A.G. Schneiderman's investigation, the Trump Foundation nevertheless intends to cooperate fully with the investigation," Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks said in a statement on Monday. "Because this is an ongoing legal matter, the Trump Foundation will not comment further at this time."