Clawing Back Money from the Trump Organization and Redirecting it to Support DC Youth
Hello DC neighbors,
This week, we made a big announcement: We clawed back $750,000 from the Trump Organization and the Trump Inaugural Committee and gave it to District nonprofits educating youth about democracy and civics. By clawing back these funds, we’re sending a clear message that if you violate DC nonprofit law—no matter how powerful you are—you'll pay.
We filed this lawsuit in 2020 to recover nonprofit funds that the Inaugural Committee used to enrich the Trump family by dramatically overpaying the Trump Hotel for event space, throwing a private party for the former president’s adult children, and paying down the Trump Organization’s debt. We refused to let that corruption stand.
We are also ensuring that the Trump family’s ill-gotten gains will be used for an actual public purpose by redirecting the misspent money to DC Action and Mikva Challenge DC. Both organizations are nonpartisan nonprofits dedicated to lifting up and empowering young people, including through civic education. I’m proud we could turn the page on Trump’s corruption by investing in the next generation of District leaders, all while ensuring that the law is followed and nonprofit funds are used properly.
Karl A. Racine
Standing Up for Abortion Care Access Across the Country
If you’ve read the news about a draft Supreme Court decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade, you may be fearful and angry about the future of reproductive rights in our country. I’m with you. The leaked opinion represents a worst case-scenario for reproductive rights: it would mean states could ban abortion even in cases of rape or incest. For now, this draft opinion is not law.
DC residents have consistently made clear that we value reproductive rights. As a result, we have strong patient-centered laws enabling residents and visitors to make their own reproductive health decisions that support their health and safety.
But for so many across the country, if Roe is overturned, the situation would be very different. It would further and more clearly sever the Unites States into two Americas – one where patients can access reproductive care and one where they can’t.
Unfortunately, we also know the fragility of access in the District. Depending on who is in Congress and the White House, the federal government could use our lack of statehood to change our laws. That is a scary reality, because abortion isn’t just a health care issue. It’s a racial justice issue. It’s an economic issue. And it’s a self-determination issue.
When Employers Take Advantage of DC Workers, We Step In
Last week, my office announced that we are once again suing Power Design, an electrical contractor that has worked on dozens of development projects in the District. Power Design illegally misclassified hundreds of workers, cheating them out of hard-earned wages and benefits. My office secured a $2.75 million settlement with the company in 2020—our biggest wage theft settlement to date. Unfortunately, Power Design continued to treat workers improperly, so we’re cracking down on the company again. We won’t allow them to continue to avoid paying workers the wages they’re due.
This lawsuit is part of a larger effort to protect workers: Since 2017 we’ve launched more than 75 investigations and recovered over $7 million for workers and the District by bringing investigations and lawsuits against employers who violate District law, and we recently stood up a separate section to house this work. District workers who have experienced wage theft or other mistreatment in the workplace can contact OAG by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Securing Justice for District Tenants
The District is in the midst of a housing crisis, with too many residents struggling to access safe and affordable places to live. My office has been using all the tools in our toolbox to preserve existing housing and protect tenants. One of our core missions remains preserving affordable housing and disrupting the business model that drives out long-term residents for quick profits. Over the past seven years, we have secured major victories that have a real impact on the lives of Washingtonians, including returning more than $3 million to DC tenants.
Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month
Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, DC! This month, we’re lifting up and reflecting upon the contributions and culture of AAPI communities across the country.
Tragically, our AAPI neighbors have faced increasing hate and bigotry during the pandemic. Last year, Connecticut AG William Tong and I convened a national meeting to discuss tactics to combat anti-Asian hate crimes, including bystander training. Resources on addressing hate can be found here. We must embrace our common humanity and continue to forcefully reject attacks against our AAPI neighbors.
We Sued USPS for Failing to Consider the Environmental Impact of its New Trucks
Did you know that the U.S. Postal Service has the largest civilian vehicle fleet in the world? It’s true: USPS uses more than 200,000 trucks to do its critical work of delivering mail across the country. Many of those trucks are old and need to be replaced, but USPS decided to replace 90% of them with fossil-fueled trucks. This was a missed opportunity to chart a greener future.
We filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service because it made that decision without properly considering the environmental impact, which is illegal. Putting more fossil-fueled trucks on the road will worsen pollution in communities already struggling with environmental harms.
TurboTax Has Been Misleading Consumers, So We Took the Company to Task
Intuit, the company that owns TurboTax, preyed on our neighbors by advertising its services as “free” but then still charging fees, even from DC residents—like those in the lowest income bracket and active military—who were eligible to use TurboTax for free.
AGs investigated and reached an agreement for the company to pay $141 million, which means more than 9,000 impacted DC residents will be getting refunds. If you are eligible for a refund, you will be contacted with more information. Read more about TurboTax’s misleading claims, and what we did about it here.
Raising Awareness about Protections for Older Americans
This month is Older Americans Month, a great time to reach out to the elders in your life and check in. Sadly, we know that especially during the pandemic, elders can be isolated and vulnerable to exploitation.
Learn the red flags to watch out for in the graphic above, and contact our Elder Justice Section if you see something concerning by emailing email@example.com or calling (202) 727-3807. We regularly take action to strip financial abusers of credentials, return funds to seniors, and take abusers to court. Everyone deserves to live out their golden years with dignity and security.