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NY attorney general orders Trump Foundation to stop fundraising

New York's attorney general has asked the charitable foundation of presidential candidate Donald Trump to stop fundraising in the state, saying it wasn't registered to do so. The foundation has refrained from commenting.

The office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the charity had been engaged in activities that were not registered with state authorities. Schneiderman's office wrote to the organization, asking it to "cease and desist from soliciting contributions." The notice was made public on Monday.

 According to law, the foundation receives more than $25,000 (22,300 euros) in contributions and therefore needs to be registered differently.

"Failure to immediately discontinue solicitation ... shall be deemed to be a continuing fraud upon the people of the state of New York," the letter said.

The foundation had 15 days to register the required information and file financial reports of delinquent fundraising activities with New York's Charities Bureau. "All forms must be properly certified, complete and accurate," the letter read, adding that "any person who swears falsely to any document required ... may be guilty of a crime under the New York Penal Code."

"Because this is an ongoing legal matter, the Trump Foundation will not comment further at this time," Donald Trump's spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in a statement to "The New York Times."

The New York Attorney General's office has been investigating the foundation after media reports emerged saying the organization's proceeds personally benefited the Republican presidential candidate. "Washington Post" journalist David Fahrenthold, who investigated the claims that the Trump Foundation was illegally raising money, posted this tweet.

The attorney general's order comes shortly after the "New York Times" released tax records showing Trump recording losses of $1 billion in 1995, which could have helped him avoid paying taxes for up to 18 years.

Schneiderman also filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump in 2013, alleging that his self-styled Trump University was an elaborate scam. The trial into alleged malpractice at the institution is scheduled to begin in San Diego on November 28, 20 days after the presidential election in which Trump will take on Democrat Hillary Clinton.

mg/msh (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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