Trump Foundation ordered to stop soliciting donations in New York

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NEW YORK — The Trump Foundation has been ordered to stop soliciting donations in New York because the Republican presidential nominee's charitable organization is in violation of state law, the New York attorney general said Monday.

Republican nominee Donald Trump looks on during the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on Sept. 26, 2016.(JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Republican nominee Donald Trump looks on during the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on Sept. 26, 2016.(JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the Trump Foundation "is in violation of section 172 of Article 7-A New York's Executive Law, which requires charitable organizations that solicit contributions in New York State to register with the Charities Bureau and to provide annual financial reports and annual audited financial statements."

But though the Trump Foundation did not register for the proper certification in the Empire State, it solicited contributions in New York earlier this year, Schneiderman's office said.

The foundation has been ordered to "immediately cease soliciting contributions or engaging in other fundraising activities in New York," Schneiderman's office said.

Schneiderman has been investigating Trump's foundation following media reports that foundation spending personally benefited the candidate.

James Sheehan with the attorney general's office says failure to stop fundraising immediately and answer demands for all delinquent financial reports within 15 days "shall be deemed a continuing fraud upon the people of the state of New York."

The attorney general's office says the law requires a different registration than the foundation has for those that solicit more than $25,000 a year from the public.

The Trump campaign says the foundation intends to cooperate with the investigation.

The news comes amid a week of revelations into the GOP nominee's financial dealings, some from investigative reports and some, cryptically, from the candidate himself.

The Washington Post published on Sept. 29 a piece saying what the attorney general has now made official: that the Trump Foundation lacks the certification charities must have to solicit donations in Trump's home state of New York.

In the first presidential debate on Sept. 26, Hillary Clinton questioned why her opponent has not released his tax returns and suggested one reason may be because Trump paid no income tax, to which he replied, "that makes me smart."

Over the weekend, the New York Times  reported that Trump's tax records show he could have avoided paying federal income taxes for nearly two decades after declaring a $916 million loss in 1995.

In a statement to the Times, the Trump campaign neither confirmed nor denied the story about his income tax history.

"Mr. Trump is a highly-skilled businessman who has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required," the statement said, according to the New York Times. "That being said, Mr. Trump has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, real estate taxes, city taxes, state taxes, employee taxes and federal taxes.

"Mr. Trump knows the tax code far better than anyone who has ever run for president and he is the only one that knows how to fix it."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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