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Trump Foundation charity will dissolve, disperse assets over lawsuit

By Sommer Brokaw

Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The Trump Foundation, weathering a lawsuit over its finances, agreed to dissolve under court supervision, New York state authorities said Tuesday.

The agreement to dissolve the charitable foundation President Donald Trump started in 1987 was signed by foundation attorney Alan Futerfas and New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood.

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According to the agreement, the foundation will disperse its assets to other nonprofit organizations within 30 days.

The New York Attorney General's office forced the lawsuit against the foundation, claiming Trump and his children violated campaign finance laws and abused its tax-exempt status. The court proceedings will continue despite the agreement and a judge must approve the agreement for it to go into effect.

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"Our petition detailed a shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation -- including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more," Underwood said in a statement. "This amounted to the Trump Foundation functioning as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump's business and political interests."

Underwood added that only "reputable" charities approved by a judge and her office would be able to receive the Trump Foundation's funds as it winds down its operations.

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The most recent tax return the foundation filed shows its net assets were slightly more than $1.7 million.

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The dissolution resolves one piece of the civil suit, which also seeks $2.8 million in restitution, penalties and a ban on Trump and his three eldest children serving on the board of any other New York nonprofit.

"This is an important victory for the rule of law, making clear that there is one set of rules for everyone," Underwood said. "We'll continue to move our suit forward to ensure that the Trump Foundation and its directors are held to account for their clear and repeated violations of state and federal law."

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