New York Attorney General Investigates “Pay-to-Play” Donations by Charities

New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo has ordered dozens of charities to take back illegal political contributions, or risk losing their tax-exempt status, [the New York Post has reported].

Cuomo has uncovered improper campaign contributions by not-for-profit organizations to New York State lawmakers and New York City council members. Federal and state laws prohibit certain not-for-profit organizations from engaging in political activity, including making campaign contributions. Violation of these laws can jeopardize an organization’s tax-exempt status.

It has been reported that Cuomo’s investigation of campaign contributions is a by-product of an ongoing probe launched two years ago into pork-barrel spending — also known as “member items” — by New York State lawmakers. It is being reported that some illegal contributions have been made after an organization received a member item from state lawmakers.

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