Donald Trump’s name just keeps coming up in ways that would be over the top even for the most despicable of soap opera villains. His philanthropic Trump Organization took in big profits by hosting a charity golf event to benefit children’s cancer research, claiming the use of the course was donated, reported Forbes on Tuesday.
Eric Trump held the annual event at the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, NY under the auspices of raising money on behalf of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. Forbes reports the event has raised $11 million to date including $2.9 million last year.
Financial documents show the cost of the tournament rose from $50,000 initially up to $322,000 by 2015, Forbes reported, citing IRS filings.
“In reviewing filings from the Eric Trump Foundation and other charities, it’s clear that the course wasn’t free that the Trump Organization received payments for its use, part of more than $1.2 million that has no documented recipients past the Trump Organization,” Forbes reported. “Golf charity experts say the listed expenses defy any reasonable cost justification for a one-day golf tournament.”
Despite Eric Trump insisting that the usage of the course was donated, the records show billing has occurred. Insider Ian Gillule, was marketing director at the Westchester course, says the increase in expenses prompted the Donald to insist upon billing for usage of the course.
“Mr. Trump had a cow,” Forbes quoted Gillule as saying. “He flipped. He was like, ‘We’re donating all of this stuff, and there’s no paper trail? No credit?’ And he went nuts. He said, ‘I don’t care if it’s my son or not everybody gets billed.'”
In addition, more than $500,000 in donations were given to other charities, “many of which were connected to Trump family members or interests, including at least four groups that subsequently paid to hold golf tournaments at Trump courses,” the magazine reported.
Gillule also told Forbes that the Donald J. Trump Foundation gave $100,000 to the Eric Trump Foundation to help offset the increase in costs. That means donors to the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which the Trump family themselves reportedly hadn’t contributed to in years, saw $100,000 of their donations pass on as revenue to the Trump Organization by way of charges to the Eric Trump Foundation.
Can you say unethical?