Suit brought by Barbara Underwood says Trump Foundation is ‘little more than an empty shell’ and seeks $2.8m in restitution

The attorney general of New York state sued the Donald J Trump charitable foundation, President Trump and three of his children on Thursday for violating state charity laws, alleging that the Trumps used charitable assets as “little more than a checkbook for payments to not-for-profits from Mr Trump” and his companies.

Foundation assets, acquired through tax-deductible donations, were used to settle legal claims against one of Trump’s golf clubs and to buy a painting of Trump to be displayed at another club, the suit alleges.

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