POLITICO: Could be guilty of fraud
If Donald Trump falsely claims his business ventures benefit charity and that is not true, he could be guilty of fraud.
…he could be held liable under Section 349 of New York’s General Business Law, which forbids deceptive business acts and practices, as well as under charitable solicitation laws, according to legal experts.
In promoting products as varied as Trump University, Trump Vodka, a Trump board game and his latest book, “Crippled America,” the businessman has declared that the proceeds would go to charity. None of Trump’s proceeds from Trump University have gone to charity, and only a few hundred dollars of charitable giving related to Trump Vodka has been accounted for. News organizations have been unable to verify his other claims, and his representatives have been unwilling to provide more information about them or even to confirm them.
While lawyers say Trump could be liable in a number of states for false claims, the official most likely to take up the matter would be Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of New York, where Trump resides and is already the defendant in a consumer fraud case brought by the state over Trump University.