New York is investigating whether the Donald J. Trump Foundation violated state tax laws, a an inquiry that could lead to a criminal referral for possible prosecution, the New York Times reported, citing two state officials familiar with the probe.
The officials wouldn’t say when the investigation by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance started, or what activities it might be scrutinizing, according to the report. The paper said it appeared likely that the inquiry may cover some of the same issues raised by the New York attorney general, Barbara Underwood, in a lawsuit filed against the Trump Foundation in June.
The June petition to dissolve the charity alleged a litany of violations, including improperly using foundation assets for political purposes. The state also sought to bar the president and his three children from serving on a New York not-for-profit for 10 years.
A criminal inquiry could reveal additional information beyond the scope of the lawsuit, such as the president’s tax returns, the New York Times reported. If the investigation found possible criminal activity, it could then refer its findings to a law enforcement agency, such as the state attorney general’s office or a district attorney, it said.
That agency could present the findings to a grand jury, according to the two officials, both senior members of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect an active investigation, the report said.