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Florida Reportedly Probing Melania Trump Tea For Charity That Doesn't Seem To Exist

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Officials have launched an “inquiry” into an upcoming Florida fundraiser featuring Melania Trump for a charity that isn’t registered in the state, as is required by law, The New York Times reported Saturday, and it isn’t clear whether the charity even exists.

Tickets are being sold to an “exclusive high tea” April 9 featuring the former first lady in Naples, Florida.

According to information from Trump’s office, the tea will raise money for the charity Fostering the Future, which is described as an initiative of Be Best, the anti-bullying mission launched by Trump when she was living in the White House. Money is supposed to fund computer science scholarships to young people who have been in foster care, according to the ticket sales site.

Tickets for a VIP table sponsor cost $50,000. Patron tickets are going for $3,000.

But no such charity is registered in Florida, the Times reported. Nor does it appear to exist anywhere else.

Officials at the Florida agency that oversees charity fundraising confirmed to the Times that there is no state registration of the charity, and they are investigating.

“Consumer Services Division is currently investigating whether this event involves an entity operating in violation of Chapter 496, Florida Statutes,” Erin Moffet, an agency spokeswoman, said in a statement to the Times, referring to the state law requiring charities to register before soliciting money.

There is a website called “Fostering the Future” for the nonprofit organization Children’s Rights Inc., which is located in New York City. It’s described in a charity form as “advocating on behalf of abused and neglected children.” There is no mention on its website of Melania Trump, Be Best or the upcoming Florida fundraiser.

HuffPost could not immediately reach Children’s Rights for comment.

There is also a Fostering the Future in Illinois, which exists on the internet only as a name on a donation site with no information about the organization. The charity tracking organization Charity Navigator also has little information about it.

Responding to the Times story on Twitter, Melania Trump called it “dishonest reporting” by “corrupt media,” and said all documents are “in the works.”

She also stated that “we are working” with the Bradley Impact Fund, a “donor-advised fund,” to “select charities that will receive the donations to foster children.” The statement sounds like the charities haven’t yet been picked, which appears to contradict the information on the ticket sales site for the high tea with Trump.

The Bradley Impact Fund has been linked to organizations pushing Donald Trump’s lie that the 2020 presidential election he lost was rigged.

In another recent high-profile money-raising effort, Melania Trump last month auctioned off an NFT collection on the Solana blockchain. The “Head of State Collection, 2022” — featuring the white hat she wore when she met the French president at the White House, a digital portrait and a print of it — sold for 1,800 SOL cryptocurrency ($170,000).

But it appears she bought it herself — or it was purchased by whoever set up the deal for her — Vice and Artnet News reported.

The Times story about the former first lady’s upcoming high tea also examined all the ways her husband is lining his pockets in his post-White House life.

Read the full piece at The New York Times.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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