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Did Eric Trump’s Donations to Jewish Charity Violate Rules?

The Eric Trump Foundation appears to be implicated in a number of irregularities, dealing with conflicts of interest in its payments and patronizing the pet causes of its board members.

According to a report report in the Associated Press, the foundation contracted for services with numerous subsidiaries of the Trump organization, for example hosting benefit events at a Trump golf course. It also had a board stocked with Trump family friends, who the AP said appeared to steer money to their pet causes.

Both of these allegations, if true, would be a violation of Internal Revenue Service rules on charity, which prohibit those who operate charities from making a profit off them. Those regulations also discourage board members and those associated with a charity from steering monies to organizations close or related to them, out of concern over self-dealing.

The Eric Trump Foundation has an annual budget of over $7 million, and donates most of its proceeds to the St. Jude’s Hospital, a charity for kids with cancer. Apparently, several Jewish organizations have benefited from Eric Trump Foundation monies, though. One of the charities was Chai Lifeline, a group that helps sick children and whose chairman, Larry Spiewak, attended Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s wedding. It is not clear what role that connection had in the donation.

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at [email protected] or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon

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