Pro-Israel charity sues businessman for not paying for paintings of the Trumps he won at auction


(JTA) — A pro-Israel non-profit organization is suing a Florida businessman for failing to pay for two 6-foot tall paintings of President Donald Trump and his wife Melania that he won at a charity auction.

Timothy Lane, of the Hong Kong-based Everest Advisors, agreed to pay $21,530 for the paintings at the auction last month at the Trump-owned Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, the Palm Beach Post reported. The paintings were created by “speed artist” Michael Israel, who creates the large images in about 6 minutes.

Some 500 people attended the Feb. 25 benefit for The Truth About Israel organization.

The group says on its website that The Truth About Israel is a not-for-profit company formed “to educate and train the public about the facts of Israel in today’s world. Our mission is to advocate for Israel, covering the core values of the state of Israel, and the fundamental rights and justice for the Jewish people.”

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The lawsuit was filed earlier this month in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.

Lane, 70, reportedly has not allowed the purchase to go through on his credit card because the charity did not give him its federal tax identification number so he could write off the purchase as a charitable deduction.

Boca Raton businessman Steven Alembik, who organized the benefit, told the newspaper that the charity was issued a federal identification number on March 8 after the Internal Revenue Service approved the organization’s tax-exempt status. He said he provided the number to Lane.

“The tax ID has been provided to him,” Alembik told the Palm Beach Post. “He can come up with all the excuses he wants. At the end of the day, he’s going to pay. He’s going to court and he’s going to lose.”

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