If you are raising money for X, and you give it to Y, that is fraud, even if Y is a charity, says James Fishman, a former assistant attorney general for the state of New York who now teaches at Pace Universitys law school. If Im writing a check for somebody, and you give it to somebody else, I mean that is fraudulent.
The Eric Trump Foundation wasnt always this way. The presidents second son started the charity in 2007 with two friends and, by all accounts, good intentions. In its first four years, the organization sent almost all of its money to St. Jude. It made one major exception, in 2008, when it gave $65,000 to a charity that supports military families.
But in 2010, the culture inside the Eric Trump Foundation began to change. Four of the original seven directors of the charity dropped off of the board, and three essentially full-time Trump Organization employees joined, marking the beginning of a power shift that ultimately left the organization controlled mostly by people who were financially dependent on Erics father, Donald Trump.