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New York judge orders Trump to pay $2.7 million in damages to charities

NEW YORK – A New York judge on Thursday (Nov 7) ordered Donald Trump to pay US$2 million (S$2.7 million) for using his former charity to further his political and business interests, adding to the president’s legal woes.

Justice Saliann Scarpulla of the New York Supreme Court told him to pay the damages to a group of non-profit organisations to settle a civil lawsuit brought by state Attorney-General Letitia James, a Democrat.

James filed the lawsuit against the Trump Foundation in June last year, accusing it of “persistently illegal conduct” that included improper coordination between the charity and his campaign team during his 2016 White House bid.

Trump agreed to shut down his personal charity in December but the suit moved ahead regardless as prosecutors sought millions of dollars in restitution and penalties.

“(The ruling) is a major victory in our efforts to protect charitable assets and hold accountable those who would abuse charities for personal gain,” James said in a statement.

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