June 23, 2016

HE'S A WALKING RICO CASE:

Trump's charity claims could violate fraud laws : He could be held liable if he failed to fulfill promises to donate proceeds from his book 'Crippled America.' (BEN SCHRECKINGER, 06/20/16, Politico)

The charity claims made their way into numerous news reports, social media posts and online reader reviews of the book. "Thank You For Donating Proceeds To Vet Charities!!!" reads the subject line of one review on Amazon. "Proceeds to charity GREAT BOOK!" proclaims another. [...]

"In general you can't promote a book by saying the benefits will go to charity when that's false, and that's where general consumer protection laws would come in," said Dan Kurtz, a former assistant attorney general of New York in charge of the state's Charities Bureau.

Kurtz added that Trump might also be subject to New York's charitable solicitation laws. Those regulations generally apply to instances where a business markets its goods as benefiting a particular charitable organization, but Kurtz said Trump's vaguer marketing claims arguably also fall under that law as well.

Kurtz said that the book's publisher, Simon & Schuster, might be "on the hook" as well for claims Trump made. A spokesman for the publisher declined to comment on the record.

"Crippled America" is not the only money-making venture that Trump has publicized as benefiting charity. He has also claimed that proceeds or profits from Trump University, Trump Vodka, "The Art of the Deal" and a Trump board game would benefit charity.

Promoting Trump Vodka in 2006, Trump told Larry King, "I'm giving the money to charity." But the only apparent donation related to Trump Vodka is a "few hundred dollars" given to a group supporting Walter Reed Hospital in connection with a specific promotion, as reported by CNN last month.

Trump marketed Trump University as a charitable venture and said he would give any money he made off of it to charity, but he has not given money from it to charity, as Time reported in November. Trump's lawyer told Time that the New York billionaire transferred the $5 million he made from Trump University, which is embroiled in multiple fraud lawsuits, back to the business when it landed in legal trouble.


Posted by at June 23, 2016 4:56 PM

  

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