New York state's top legal official on Monday ordered the charitable foundation headed by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to immediately stop soliciting contributions because it was not registered to seek public donations.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that unless the Trump Foundation files the required paperwork in the next 15 days it would consider the foundation to be "a continuing fraud upon the people of New York."
For different reasons, Trump's foundation and the one operated by Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have played key roles in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Schneiderman has opened an investigation of Trump's foundation, which he founded in 1987 and for years was its only donor. But in 2006, he gave away almost all of the money he had donated.
Since then, Trump solicited donations from wealthy individuals, with foundation records subsequently showing the charity paid off some of Trump's legal bills incurred by the billionaire's for-profit businesses.
In addition, the foundation paid $30,000 to buy two portraits of Trump.
Critics have claimed that wealthy donors to the Clinton foundation, a charity that has attempted to resolve global health problems and promote better education around the world, were given special access to officials at the U.S. State Department while she served as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.