Fraudsters are everywhere. They’re walking around like regular people. They don't see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don't even know they're frauds. Enter presidential-wannabe Donald Trump, purveyor of all things Trump-dubbed including wines, steaks, universities and skyscrapers, and one charitable organization. But unlike the Clinton Foundation Trump hasn’t contributed to his own charity for years. The Trump Foundation is pretty much an open wallet for Donald to reach into and spend or donate other people’s money under his own name, sometimes for causes that directly benefit himself. Cue outrage, corruption inquiries and an investigation by the New York attorney general.
The main thing Donald Trump is accused of is using the money raised by the Trump Foundation as his own bank account, specifically for things like making donations to causes that were promoted on his reality TV show, making donations to other charities while taking the philanthropic credit, buying personal gifts (think: $20k portrait of his humble self) and even shady bribes (think: discouraging investigations into Trump University). Of course the Foundation has also put money towards some charitable and worthy causes over the years – just not with Trump’s money.
So is Donald just one trumped-up scam artist? Well in the past he’s certainly exaggerated the size of his… er, generous nature and he’s also outright lied about his past financial dealings, including what he gave to his own presidential campaign and when he would release his tax returns. Until a few weeks ago, the Clinton Foundation was a magnet for controversy, while the tiny Trump Foundation remained in the shadows. But that’s all changed thanks to the presidential spotlight. And in an election year, even just the perception that Trump is abusing his charity for political gain could be the straw that breaks the candidate’s unpopular back.
Ever conned foolish people out of their money? Movie for your swindling mood: Matchstick Men