On 30 September 2016, the New York Attorney General’s office issued a cease and desist notice to Donald Trump’s charitable foundation. The organization apparently did not registered with the state’s Charities Bureau; failure of the foundation to comply with orders to file outstanding paperwork could be deemed fraud.
According to the state Attorney General, Donald J. Trump Foundation was in violation of Section 172 of Article 7, which requires organizations that solicit charitable donations in the state to register with the bureau, and also provide annual financial reports and audited financial statements. Schneiderman’s office posted the letter to the AG’s official web site:
Based on information received by the Charities Bureau to date, the Trump Foundation was engaged in solicitation or fundraising activities in New York State in 2016, is not and was not registered with the Charities Bureau pursuant to Article 7-A, and thus not permitted to engage in such activity during this period.
The Trump Foundation was required to immediately halt all fundraising activities in the state, and was given fifteen days to file the needed paperwork for 2016 (and any other year in which solicitation in New York occurred without requisite filings) or face further action by the Attorney General:
The failure immediately to discontinue solicitation and to file information and reports required under Article 7-A with the Charities Bureau shall be deemed to be a continuing fraud upon the people of the state of New York.
Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Trump, said he plans to cooperate — but said that the New York Attorney General’s actions were politically motivated:
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. Because this is an ongoing legal matter, the Trump Foundation will not comment further at this time.
Schneiderman has endorsed Trump’s Democrat rival in the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Clinton.