(RNN) – A new report alleges the Trump Organization took profits from a charity golf event, despite claiming the use of the golf course was donated.
According to Forbes, the nonprofit Eric Trump Foundation told sponsors and donors that most of the money raised from the annual charity golf tournament would benefit St. Jude Research Hospital in Memphis. The foundation claimed that almost all of the money raised would help children with cancer because the use of the course would be donated.
The charity tournament began in 2007, and to date, the report states $11 million was donated to St. Jude’s.
But Forbes examined filings from the Eric Trump Foundation and the Trump Organization, which is owned by President Donald J. Trump, and found that the Trump Organization received about $1.2 million over several years from the Eric Trump Foundation for use of the golf course for which Eric Trump claimed was donated.
When the tournament began in 2007, the foundation was not billed for use of the course, but that changed when costs spiked in 2011, and Donald Trump insisted the foundation pay for its expenses, according to the report. However, Eric Trump continued to claim that use of the course was free, and all monies raised were going to charity.
"Mr. Trump had a cow. He flipped. He was like, 'We're donating all of this stuff, and there's no paper trail? No credit?' And he went nuts. He said, 'I don't care if it's my son or not - everybody gets billed,'" said Ian Gillule, who served as membership and marketing director at Trump National Westchester during two stints from 2006 to 2015.
Also during this time, the Donald Trump Foundation – another nonprofit not to be confused with the Trump Organization – gave money to the Eric Trump Foundation to offset rising costs of the tournament. Forbes reports the Eric Trump Foundation used that donation to pay Trump Organization to for the use of the courses; so non-profit money was funneled into the Trump Organization.
Starting in 2011, board members on the Eric Trump Foundation were replaced by members who were tied to or worked for the Trump Organization.
Since then, the IRS filings also show more than $500,000 was redirected to charities connected to Trump family members and interests, which include four groups that paid for golf tournaments at Trump courses, Forbes reports. Several of the charities had nothing to do with children’s cancer.
Other items in the report show an increase in expenditures and overhead paid by the Eric Trump Foundation to the Trump Organization.
After the election, the Eric Trump Foundation changed its name to Curetivity, and Eric Trump is no longer fundraising for the charity. He is running the Trump Organization while his father is president.
This is not the first time the Trump Organization’s charitable donations garnered media scrutiny. During the campaign, Donald Trump organized a nationally televised fundraiser for veterans in Des Moines on Jan 28, 2016 and said that if he raised $6 million, he’d donate $1 million of his own money.
Spokespersons for the Trump campaign claimed for four months he had donated money, but he had not until various media outlets searched IRS reports and contacted charities who would benefit from the donation.
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