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POST TIME: 9 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
NY judge orders Trump to pay $2 mn in damages to charities
AFP, New York

NY judge orders Trump to pay $2 mn in damages to charities

A New York judge on Thursday ordered Donald Trump to pay $2 million for using his former charity to further his political and business interests, adding to the president’s legal woes.

Justice Saliann Scarpulla of the New York Supreme Court told him to pay the damages to a group of non-profit organizations to settle a civil lawsuit brought by state Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat.

James filed the lawsuit against the Trump Foundation in June last year, accusing it of “persistently illegal conduct” that included improper coordination between the charity and his campaign team during his 2016 White House bid.

Trump agreed to shut down his personal charity in December but the suit moved ahead regardless as prosecutors sought millions of dollars in restitution and penalties.

“(The ruling) is a major victory in our efforts to protect charitable assets and hold accountable those who would abuse charities for personal gain,” James said in a statement.

The suit accused Trump of using foundation funds to settle lawsuits, promote his Trump-branded hotels, and for personal spending, including the purchase of a portrait of himself to display at one of his golf clubs.

It also said that in early 2016 while Trump was running for president, he organized what was billed as a Trump Foundation fundraiser but was actually a campaign event.