Report: Washington DC Suing The Trump Organization Over Alleged $1M Scam
D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine filed a lawsuit against President Trump’s inaugural committee and business Wednesday, alleging that the committee violated its nonprofit status by spending more than $1 million to book a ballroom at Trump’s D.C. hotel, according to The Washington Post.
In preparing for Trump’s January 2017 inauguration, the committee booked the hotel ballroom for $175,000 a day, as well as more than $300,000 in food and beverage costs, despite its own event planner’s objections.
The committee was created to organize the events around the inauguration, but Racine claims it instead “abandoned this purpose and violated District law when it wasted approximately $1 million of charitable funds in overpayment for the use of event space at the Trump hotel.”
“These charges were unreasonable and improperly served to enrich” Trump’s business, the complaint reads. Racine alleges that Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, were aware of the charges.
D.C. law requires that nonprofit organizations not operate for the purpose of generating profits for private individuals. Racine, therefore, asked for an order from D.C. Superior Court directing that the money be returned and given to charities promoting civic engagement.
“The rates charged by the hotel were completely in line with what anyone else would have been charged for an unprecedented event of this enormous magnitude and were reflective of the fact that hotel had just recently opened, possessed superior facilities and was centrally located on Pennsylvania Avenue,” the Trump Organization responded.
However, the 18-page complaint argues that the committee knowingly wasted the nonprofit’s resources to benefit the Trumps.
Documents submitted with the complaint show that Trump confidants expressed their concerns, but were ultimately ignored.
Trump’s company is now trying to sell its lease to the hotel -- initial bids are due Thursday.