NY state launches tax probe of Trump Foundation

Cuomo willing to give criminal referral to AG for criminal probe into Trump foundation- if she wants

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.

If evidence of alleged crimes is found, the matter could be referred to prosecutors, who could seek the release of Trump's tax returns.

The lawsuit claimed the charity engaged in illegal political coordination with Trump's campaign, made multiple self-dealing transactions to benefit Trump personally and his business interests, and violated legal obligations for such nonprofits in NY. The paper said it appeared likely that the inquiry may cover some of the same issues raised by the ny attorney general, Barbara Underwood, in a lawsuit filed against the Trump Foundation in June.

Trump has already paid more than $330,000 in reimbursements and penalty taxes, Underwood said in the suit.

Any criminal action taken while the civil case proceeds, however, would likely lead to a stay of the civil action, meaning the attorney general's office is unlikely to seek a criminal referral until its civil case has progressed.

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The lawsuit that was brought against Trump last month, alleges that the foundation took part in "repeated and willful self-dealing transactions to benefit Mr. Trump's personal and business interests".

It remains to be seen whether state officials will initiate a criminal investigation.

In order to pursue a criminal investigation, Underwood would need a referral from Govern Andrew Cuomo's office, which Cuomo appears ready to give, if necessary.

"As our lawsuit against the Trump Foundation illustrates, we intend to hold the Foundation and its directors accountable for all violations of state law", Amy Spitalnick, the spokesperson for the New York Attorney General, told CNN. That lawsuit claimed that the charitable organization operated without the oversight of a functioning board, and that its money was used for various purposes in violation of state and federal laws.

The Trump Foundation is reportedly under investigation in NY for possibly violating state tax laws.

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