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Donald Trump accused of 'shocking' violations of charity laws

Donald Trump has reportedly used money from his charitable foundation to help himself, as detailed in an in-depth report from The Washington Post published Tuesday. The investigation, by Post reporter David A. Fahrenthold, revealed the Republican presidential candidate has spent an estimated $258,000 from the Donald J. Trump Foundation — a "charity funded almost entirely by other people's money" — to settle lawsuits involving his for-profit businesses, including one of his golf courses in New York and his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.

The Post said Trump's use of charity money may be in violation of a law that specifically prohibits "nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses." Jeffrey Tenenbaum, who advises charities at the Washington, D.C., law firm, Venable, called Trump's reported actions particularly "brazen" and "really shocking." "If he's using other people's money — run through his foundation — to satisfy his personal obligations, then that's about as blatant an example of self-dealing [as] I've seen in a while," Tenenbaum said.

If the Internal Revenue Service were to confirm such violations occurred, Trump could face penalty taxes or be required to reimburse his charitable foundation for the money he apparently spent on personal obligations. Trump's camp did not respond to the Post's request for comment.

Head over to The Washington Post to read more of Fahrenthold's investigation.