To be safe, political campaigns should pay extra attention to contributions received from people living outside the United States, said Ken Gross, who heads the political law practice at the firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Washington, D.C.
“Typically, a campaign or PAC will take steps to affirm that the donor is a U.S. citizen or green card holder,” Gross said.
Neither Hicks, Trump’s spokeswoman, nor Don McGahn, Trump’s campaign lawyer and a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, responded to questions about how the campaign vets contributions from foreign addresses.
(Update, Sept. 13, 2016, 9:58 a.m.: In a letter to the FEC filed Monday night, Trump campaign treasurer Timothy Jost stressed that the campaign has "safeguards in place to ensure that all contributions are made by permissible individuals only." Among the measures reportedly being taken: requesting copies of valid U.S. passports for donors giving foreign addresses. The Trump campaign, Jost continued, "rejects contributions from contributors whose status cannot be confirmed with a passport.")
Paul S. Ryan, deputy executive director of the Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit campaign finance reform advocacy group, said that while this “light-hearted fun between buddies” was not “particularly troubling,” it was still a violation of the law prohibiting contributions from foreign nationals.
“You cannot undo a violation of federal law by getting a refund or seeking a refund of your contribution once you’re caught,” Ryan continued. “The question is whether it’s a significant enough violation that the FEC would care.”
FEC spokeswoman Judy Ingram declined to comment on the specifics of this case.
The agency typically sends letters to campaigns asking for additional information when it notices contributions that appear to be impermissible.
The FEC did just that in August, flagging Trump campaign contributions from three individuals with foreign addresses. But Nasir was not among them.
This story was co-published with Philly.com. A version of this story also appeared in TIME.