New York Sues Donald Trump

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.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • David Marjanović

    Sounds like a pretty standard “I can teach you how to get rich” scam to me.

    Yep, except it’s cheaper than, uh, Happyology.

  • Abby Normal

    Some of what I’ve been hearing about this “university” sounds a lot like what I used to hear about large-group awareness training, like Lifespring. I wonder if Trump dusted off their old playbook and gave it an entrepreneurial spin to create his program.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    Hail to thee, Kamp Krusty, on the shores of Big Snake Lake!

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    See, this is just another example of real educational institutions using gummint regs to shut out competition from innovative small entrepreneurs like Donald Trump.

  • grumpyoldfart

    My prediction: Trump won’t have to pay a cent.

  • http://www.facebook.com/featheredfrog michaelhofer

    “teach people how to get rich like him”

    didn’t trump get rich mostly by inheriting money?

  • naturalcynic

    My prediction: Trump won’t have to pay a cent.

    The Donald’s lawyers work for free?

  • cptdoom

    I wonder if Trump dusted off their old playbook and gave it an entrepreneurial spin to create his program.

    Something tells me Trump didn’t do anything of the sort – ’cause it would take too much effort. More likely a get -rich-quick scammer basically paid Trump for his name and “reputation.” Seeing as Trump has taken narcissism to whole new levels, I am sure it didn’t take much flattery to get him to sign on – just a fat enough paycheck.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    “Sounds like a pretty standard “I can teach you how to get rich” scam to me.”

    Yep. This is such a standard “get rich in real estate in your spare time with NO MONEY DOWN” scheme that I’m surprised Trump was stupid enough to try to pull it off. They all work the same way: start with a free or low-cost seminar, use that to lure suckers into a more expensive one and/or sell overpriced materials, repeat the process until there are no more suckers left. The information these seminars and books contain is often worthless, outdated, occasionally illegal, or can be found at the local library for free. Claims to mentor you through the actual buying process or to finance purchases for you are complete lies.

    Most of the gurus who started this scam back in the ’80s and ’90s are either in jail, bankrupt, or both. At $40 million, Trump isn’t going bankrupt. But the humiliation would be priceless.

  • exdrone

    Trump couldn’t meet the licensing requirements for a university because his faculty were all in Hawaii continuing the indepth Obama birther investigation. You won’t believe the things they are finding!

  • edmundog

    When do we learn about Spacestar Ordering?

  • matthewhodson

    The steps you learn are:

    1) Get rich.

    2) Setup a scam that promises to teach people how to become rich.

  • Doug Little

    Sounds like a pretty standard “I can teach you how to get rich” scam to me.

    Well he is in essence teaching them how to get rich when you think about it. It’s easy, just start up a university that promises to teach you something desirable, hmmm lets say how to get rich and then charge a shitload for it. You’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.

  • http://aceofsevens.wordpress.com Ace of Sevens

    He should have made vaguer promises and incorporated in a state with weaker consumer protection laws.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    ” I wonder if Trump dusted off their old playbook and gave it an entrepreneurial spin to create his program.”

    I’m pretty sure that the “old playbook” had an entrepreneurial spin like a F5 Sharknado–just not one that the marks were aware of.

    I have a nephew and niece-in-law who used to play in some poker tournaments. I asked her a couple of years ago if there was a way for her to teach me how to play that would not be so expensive a learning process. She is cutely evil when she laughs.

    @6:

    I think that the Dongald lost that inheritance a long time ago and has made his current pile with his wits (aided and abetted by his investors’ witlessness).

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    …his faculty were all in Hawaii continuing the indepth Obama birther investigation. You won’t believe the things they are finding!

    Yup, you’re right — I won’t.

  • randytoad

    Where does anyone get the idea that Trump is an example of how to get rich. He was born rich, and from what I understand has lost quite a bit of the fortune he inherited.