Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Trump refused to pay winner of a 2010 golf contest his $1M prize — and when mogul was sued, he doled out settlement using money from his charity

BY Adam Edelman
Updated: Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 5:02 PM

Donald Trump once refused to pay a winner of a hole-in-one contest $1 million during a 2010 golf tournament, prompting the competition’s angry winner to sue the mogul, recently unearthed documents from the lawsuit show.

And when the GOP nominee finally settled the suit for $158,000, he did so with money from his charitable foundation, which is illegal.


The country club calamity arose in August 2010, after Martin Greenberg, the CEO of Sterling Commodities Corp., hit a hole-in-one on the 13th hole while playing in a for-charity tournament at the Trump National Golf Club, Westchester, in Briarcliff Manor, New York.

Under the rules of the competition, Greenberg was entitled to a $1 million prize.

But the rules also stipulated that Greenberg’s shot had to travel at least 150 yards, a distance that Trump’s golf club, allegedly, made the hole short of, on purpose.

In the suit, Greenberg conveyed how surprised he was when he didn’t get the money, pointing to the fact that former NBA star Alonzo Mourning, whose charity was also


But just over an hour after Greenberg’s shot, he was “summoned” to meet with representatives from Trump’s club and the insurance company that underwrote the prize to examine the spot from where he hit his shot.

William Fried, one of Greenberg’s attorneys, told The News the claim was ultimately denied because “the markers at the tee were not set at the right yardage” and that “the course” — owned by Trump in this case — “traditionally sets those markers.”

When Greenberg didn’t receive the money on that basis, he sued Trump’s club, Mourning’s charity and the insurance company that had underwritten the prize.

Eventually, Trump’s club and Greenberg settled the case, with the company agreeing to donate $158,000 to a charity chosen by Greenberg, which he later decided would be the Martin Greenberg Foundation

The money given to Greenberg’s charity, however, came from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, tax forms for the mogul’s charity from 2012 show.

Leaders of nonprofit groups and charities are legally forbidden from using money that could benefit themselves or their personal businesses.

Fried confirmed his client’s charity later received the money.


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