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NY sues 'Trump University' and its get-rich claims

NY sues 'Trump University' and its get-rich claims

Associated Press; MICHAEL GORMLEY 50 minutes ago

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — 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.

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."

A spokeswoman for Trump did not immediately return a request for comment Saturday.

The lawsuit says many of the wannabe moguls were unable to land even one real estate deal and were left far worse off than before the lessons, facing thousands of dollars in debt for the seminar program once billed as a top quality university with Trump's "hand-picked" instructors.

Schneiderman is suing the program, Trump as the university chairman, and the former president of the university in a case to be handled in state Supreme Court in Manhattan. He accuses them of engaging in persistent fraud, illegal and deceptive conduct and violating federal consumer protection law. The $40 million he seeks is mostly to pay restitution to consumers.

A Trump attorney had said Schneiderman sought campaign contributions while investigating the case, telling The New York Times it was "tantamount to extortion," a claim denied by Schneiderman.

"Unlike some who are willing to turn a blind eye to fraud in exchange for campaign contributions, the attorney general is willing to follow an investigation wherever it may lead, even if that means investigating people with whom he's had a relationship, Schneiderman spokesman Andrew Friedman told The Associated Press.

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.

Schneiderman's lawsuit covers complaints dating to 2005 through 2011. Students paid between $1,495 and $35,000 to learn from the Manhattan mogul who wrote the best seller, "Art of the Deal" a decade ago followed by "How to Get Rich" and "Think Like a Billionaire."

Scheiderman said the three-day seminars didn't, as promised, teach consumers everything they needed to know about real estate. The Trump University manual tells instructors not to let consumers "think three days will be enough to make them successful," Schneiderman said.

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. The attorney general said the program also failed to promptly cancel memberships as promised.

by Anonymousreply 1608/26/2013

Good, sue him into submission. The firing squad is the only thing that rodent with a comb-over deserves.

by Anonymousreply 108/24/2013

While I'm happy that he's being exposed, once again, as the fraud that he is, I also feel that the yahoos who signed up for this, got what they deserved.

by Anonymousreply 208/24/2013

R3 very true! but there is a sucker born every minute, it they don't go to the trump university, the will attend the seminars featured in the late night infomercials

by Anonymousreply 308/24/2013

- How to Achieve Bankruptcy Not Once But Numerous Times 101

- Damage Your Own Brand Today

- Embarrassing My Children: Photo-Op with Ivanka and Jared Kushner Cut-Out

- Birther Dead-Horse Beating Seminar

by Anonymousreply 408/24/2013

[quote]but instead steered them into expensive and mostly useless seminars, and even failed to deliver promised apprenticeships.

just like $cienotology

by Anonymousreply 508/24/2013

Trump is a pig, a warmonger and a crony capitalist. Libertarians hate him.

But here's what REALLY happened--

----

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s campaign hit up Donald Trump and his pals for contributions while he was investigating the real-estate mogul’s for-profit trade school, reports NyPo.

NyPo continues: The investigation began in May 2011 and, for more than two years, Trump aides claim Schneiderman’s office told them the case was “very weak” and would “go away.”

While the probe was under way, Trump aides said their boss, his family and his associates were repeatedly approached for thousands of dollars in campaign donations by Schneiderman’s political operation.

Trump aides say now they’re being informed Schneiderman’s office is filing a civil suit against the school on Monday — sending The Donald into a full-scale rage against the AG.

“Donald Trump is not the type of individual who will sit down and be extorted,” declared Trump executive Michael Cohen.

Cohen said Trump is livid that Schneiderman is requesting $5 million to pay fines and settle claims by disgruntled students.[...]Records show Schneiderman himself schmoozed the Trumps as the investigation continued.

Correspondence viewed by The Post found:

* A fawning handwritten personal letter from Schneiderman to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner, thanking them for hosting a fund-raising luncheon for the AG.

“Much thanks for the great breakfast. I love meeting new people, and that was a great group,” Schneiderman wrote.

* Schneiderman campaign consultant Celeste Wolter personally appealed to Ivanka to attend a Schneiderman birthday fund-raiser last Dec. 3.

* Trump and associates received a fund-raising invitation last September for an event Schneiderman hosted for California AG Kama Harris. They were asked to donate $5,000.

Trump aides say Schneiderman, a Democrat, is pushing the Trump U. case for political reasons.

“Eric feels he can get political capital by taking on Mr. Trump to fight the perception that he is a weak and incompetent attorney general. It’s nothing more than a cheap publicity trick,” Cohen said.

“Schneiderman told many people that the case was very weak. The case would go away. It just needed to play itself out.”

Trump is correct here. This is purely ugly government power on display. Investigations are often started with the idea that "donations" will make then go away. There aren't many who will take on an attorney general, so good for Trump. He is going to show how it is done. Buy popcorn.

by Anonymousreply 608/24/2013

Link

by Anonymousreply 708/24/2013

Here Is an Illustration of Donald Trump With a Dick for a Nose

by Anonymousreply 808/24/2013

When I grow up, I'm going to Bovine University!

by Anonymousreply 908/24/2013

R7 "REALLY happened", you know this because?

by Anonymousreply 1008/24/2013

Anything that makes The Donald look like a Jackass is a good thing.

by Anonymousreply 1108/25/2013

I don't get how a man with such a bad public image makes money off of...his name. That defies logic. Aren't people in NYC (and other places where his name is put on buildings that aren't his) embarrassed to say they live in Trump Tower? I would be. I even know a GAY guy who brags on Facebook about living in Trump Tower, Chicago. I'm embarrassed for him.

by Anonymousreply 1208/25/2013

This.

by Anonymousreply 1308/25/2013

[quote] I also feel that the yahoos who signed up for this, got what they deserved.

Agreed. I would look upon something called Trump University with suspicion. It's a tacky brand. Imagine if Burger King started a university.

by Anonymousreply 1408/25/2013

R7 is quoting NY Post. 'Nuf said.

Why can't AG send a thank you note to Trump's daughter?

Politicians reach out for donations all the time. I don't understand how that is showing he has it in for Trump.

by Anonymousreply 1508/26/2013
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