Publication misrepresents outcome of 2018 lawsuit involving Trump family charity

The claim: Trump’s children were forced to attend a class and banned from operating a charity after they were caught stealing from a foundation

A July 3 Instagram post (direct link, archive link) shows a screenshot of a tweet from liberal activist Jeff Tiedrich about some of former President Donald Trump’s children.

“Hey, remember when Hunter Biden was caught stealing his own fake foundation and was banned from operating a charity again and a court forced him to take a course on “how not to steal”?” reads the message. “Oh wait, that wasn’t Hunter Biden, that was Don Jr., Ivanka, and the idiot who eats library dough.”

The post generated over 5,000 likes in less than a week and the tweet racked up over 25,000 likes.

Follow us on Facebook! Like our page to get updates throughout the day on our latest debunkings

Our opinion: Partially false

The claim refers to a 2018 lawsuit that alleged Donald Trump and his children unlawfully used funds from the Donald J. Trump Foundation to further business and political interests. It is true that Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. were forced to attend a court-mandated class as part of an agreement to resolve the lawsuit. However, they were not prohibited from operating a charity as the post claims.

Publication misrepresents outcome of 2018 case involving Trump family

In 2018, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed a lawsuit against the Donald J. Trump Foundation and its board members: Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump. The lawsuit alleged that foundation funds were misused for the personal, political, and business interests of Donald Trump, in violation of federal and state laws, and that members of his board of trustees engaged in ” deliberate voluntary transactions”.

To resolve the lawsuit, the foundation dissolved its operations and distributed its remaining assets to other nonprofits, according to a 2019 court petition. Donald Trump was also ordered to pay $2 million in damages.

But contrary to the post’s claim, the Trump family has not been barred from operating another charity, according to Bradley Moss, a national security attorney.

The lawsuit originally sought to bar Donald Trump from serving as an “officer, director or trustee” of any charity for 10 years and his children for one year.

However, a final settlement between the two parties stipulated that if Donald Trump decided to become an officer or director of a pre-existing charity, he must – among other things – have independent board members, provide annual reports to the Attorney General for five years. years and retain the services of an accounting firm to monitor expenditures.

Fact check: No, a Georgia grant does not equate to a democratic takeover of electoral offices

“His kids weren’t subject to these restrictions, but that may be because the council didn’t meet from 1998 to 2018, so it was just a paper ‘council’,” he said. said Joan Meyer, partner at law firm Thompson Hine. USA TODAY in an email.

The post is accurate that Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Donald Trump Jr. were required to attend court-mandated board training sessions “regarding charities and the fiduciary responsibilities of directors and officers of such organizations,” as requested by the court.

A similar claim, alleging the Trump family was barred from operating a charity after stealing from a child’s cancer charity, circulated in 2019. This claim was based on a Forbes article from 2017 which reported that the Eric Trump Foundation said it would donate all proceeds from an annual golf tournament to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, but diverted some of those funds to other charities , many of which related to Trump family members or interests, and for other expenses.

But while New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office has said it is investigating Forbes’ story, there are no credible reports that the office or any court has barred the Trump family from operate a charity.

USA TODAY reached out to social media users who shared the claim for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

Our fact-checking sources:

  • Joan Meyer, July 5, email exchange with USA TODAY

  • Marc Scholl, July 5, email exchange with USA TODAY

  • Bradley Moss, July 5, email exchange with USA TODAY

  • Supreme Court of the State of New York, June 14, 2018, petition by Barbara Underwood

  • Supreme Court of the State of New York, November 7, 2019, Decision and Order on Motion

  • New York State Supreme Court, November 7, 2019, Ordered Stipulation of Final Settlement

  • New York State Attorney General, June 14, 2018, Attorney General Underwood announces a lawsuit against the Donald J. Trump Foundation and its Board of Trustees for widespread and persistent violations of federal and state law

  • New York State Attorney General, December 10, 2019, Donald J. Trump pays $2 million for illegally using Trump Foundation funds

  • Forbes, June 6, 2017, How Donald Trump funneled Kids-Cancer charity money into his business

  • Forbes, June 9, 2017, New York Attorney General Reviews Eric Trump Foundation

  •, December 24, 2019, Social posts misrepresent facts about Trump charities

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or e-journal here.

Our fact-checking work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Post misrepresents 2018 lawsuit involving Trump family | Fact check

Leave a Comment