Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed a $40 million lawsuit against Donald Trump, accusing him of setting up a fraudulent “university” to teach people how to get rich like him and failing to follow through on the promises made to those who paid exorbitant amounts of money for the program.
New York’s attorney general sued Donald Trump for $40 million Saturday, saying the real estate mogul helped run a phony “Trump University” that promised to make students rich but instead steered them into expensive and mostly useless seminars, and even failed to deliver promised apprenticeships.
Trump shot back that the Democrat’s lawsuit is false and politically motivated.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says many of the 5,000 students who paid up to $35,000 thought they would at least meet Trump but instead all they got was their picture taken in front of a life-size picture of “The Apprentice” TV star.
“Trump University engaged in deception at every stage of consumers’ advancement through costly programs and caused real financial harm,” Schneiderman said. “Trump University, with Donald Trump’s knowledge and participation, relied on Trump’s name recognition and celebrity status to take advantage of consumers who believed in the Trump brand.”
Trump’s attorneys says that Schneiderman is trying to extort them for political donations, but nearly 10% of Trump’s political contributions in the state of New York since 2010 went to Schneiderman. That he is still willing to sue Trump after getting money from him suggests some measure of integrity. And this isn’t the first time the state has gone after Trump’s “university.”
State Education Department officials had told Trump to change the name of his enterprise years ago, saying it lacked a license and didn’t meet the legal definitions of a university. In 2011 it was renamed the Trump Entrepreneur Institute, but it has been dogged since by complaints from consumers and a few isolated civil lawsuits claiming it didn’t fulfill its advertised claims…
At the seminars, consumers were told about “Trump Elite” mentorships that cost $10,000 to $35,000. Students were promised individual instruction until they made their first deal. Schneiderman said participants were urged to extend the limit on their credit cards for real estate deals, but then used the credit to pay for the Trump Elite programs.
Sounds like a pretty standard “I can teach you how to get rich” scam to me.