Update at the end
America could soon be immersed in an election with one candidate being called to testify in a fraud suit a civil suit – against him and another facing felony charges. Donald Trump continues to be haunted by a failed real estate investment school that threatens to pull him into the witness chair in the middle of this presidential campaign. Hillary should be in jail by that time.
Trump is facing three new lawsuits six years after the failure of the “university.”
Trump University has been the subject of multiple lawsuits alleging fraud and deception. One of the lawsuits was filed in 2013 by New York’s attorney general Eric Schneiderman, a left wing Democrat, who said the organization “relied on Trump’s name recognition and celebrity status to take advantage of consumers who believed in the Trump brand.”
Schneiderman is a partisan, however.
About 10,000 students signed up from 2005 to 2010. Courses and seminars were to be offered by Trump himself according to some students though Trump says that was never promised.
They promised to teach real estate success through seminar courses costing between $1,495 and $35,000.
“At Trump University, we teach success,” Trump said in a 2005 infomercial when the program was launched. “That’s what it’s all about. Success. It’s going to happen to you.”
The New York attorney general investigated and found legitimate fraud involved.
“We started looking at Trump University and discovered that it was a classic bait-and-switch scheme. It was a scam, starting with the fact that it was not a university,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman told CNN’s “New Day” after filing suit in 2013.
Schneiderman’s case argues that Trump and Michael Sexton, the former president of the program, engaged in fraudulent, illegal and deceptive conduct, and that although the program promised to offer courses taught by experts personally selected by Trump, the teachers were neither handpicked nor experts, CNN reported
There was no promised “power team” and no follow up according to complainants.
Trump’s lawyers said many students were satisfied with the courses.
Trump University’s courses ranged from $1,495 three-day seminars to $35,000 “Gold” level programs that allowed for personal mentoring, real estate field trips and access to the expertise that made Trump a billionaire.
Affidavits from the case show some students felt the program consisted of worthless information they could have obtained for free elsewhere. Others said they simply did not receive the services they paid for.
The students weren’t successful and want their money back.
The American Future Fund has taken on Trump University and is releasing three ads this week which attack Trump’s credibility. The fund is an Iowa-based 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization affiliated with the Center to Protect Patient Rights. They have backed Mitt Romney and a Missouri Libertarian. The group advocates for conservative principles.
In the one ad, Bob says he was given a list of broken promises made to him by Trump University, and never received a list of hard-money lenders or the opportunity to purchase real estate owned by Trump.
In the other ads, a single mom named Sherri said she was duped out of more than $35,000 and in another ad, Kevin says Trump “ruined his credit and his life” and that’s all it did. There was no knowledgeable experts, no financing, nothing.
Is there any vulnerability for Trump? It became a topic during the debate. Marco Rubio called it a “fake school”.
“There are people who borrowed $36,000 to go to Trump University, and they’re suing now,” Rubio said. “And you know what they got? They got to take a picture with a cardboard cutout of Donald Trump.”
A judge has ruled that the organization improperly used the term “university” and ordered it to change its name. Trump himself will be deposed in this lawsuit this spring or summer — at the very height of this election season.
Trump has brushed off criticisms, saying that he intends to win the lawsuits. He could have settled he told the debate audience but these are frivolous suits and he will win them. He admitted on stage that he lost some of them.
Marco Rubio has this to say.
This court case lends credence to what Trump is saying.
— CorgiGirl4TRUMP (@Debramax) February 29, 2016