Tags: Trump Administration | Donald Trump | GOP2016 | trump | university

Trump U Under Fire

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Thursday, 03 Mar 2016 02:40 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Donald "D-minus Trump" won big Tuesday evening, but lost big on Tuesday morning. Before scoring victories in seven primaries, Trump suffered a legal setback that could explode in his face later this election year.

A four-judge appellate court panel in Albany rejected Trump’s motion to dismiss Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s $40 million fraud lawsuit on behalf of some 5,000 students who spent up to $35,000 at Trump University.

They learned little, and now ask — as Billy Joel once did — “Is that all you get for your money?” The judges unanimously cleared this case for trial. Thus, the potential Republican presidential nominee soon could address 12 Manhattan jurors under oath, rather than 12,000 Michigan voters under blue skies.

“I’ve won most of the lawsuits,” Trump told CNN Feb. 25. “I could settle it right now for very little money, but I don’t want to do it out of principle.”

However, the Washington Post gave Trump’s denial three out of four Pinocchios for being “mostly false.” Trump has won specific court rulings. Regardless, he faces three suits that denounce him for highly shady business practices.

New York State’s case accuses Trump of “engaging in persistent fraudulent, illegal and deceptive conduct in connection with the operation of Trump University.”

Specifically, Schneiderman states that Trump & Co. “used the name ‘Trump University’ even though they lacked the charter necessary under New York law to call themselves a University… As a result, many students believed they were attending a University, when they were not.”

“Many consumers who made the costly investments did not receive the individual mentor attention promised,” Schneiderman further contends. “After an initial three-day session, many mentors failed to return phone calls or emails and provided little to no follow-up assistance … Instead of a personal appearance from Donald Trump as some consumers were led to expect, some participants got their photographs taken with a life-size photo of Mr. Trump.”

In Makaeff v. Trump University, a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in southern California, the plaintiffs accuse Trump U. of “taking advantage of these troubled economic times to prey on consumers’ financial fears for its own financial gain.”

The suit also alleges that Trump U. taught students to perform “transactions that are illegal in California and other states, such as posting anonymous ‘bandit signs.’” These resemble road-warning markers but actually promote real-estate deals.

Plaintiff Tarla Makaeff “had no idea they were illegal until she was contacted by the District Attorney’s Office and told that those techniques could subject her to hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, a misdemeanor charge, and up to six months in jail. As a result, she was required to retain a criminal attorney.”

In Cohen v. Trump, another southern California-based federal class action, the plaintiffs argue that “The misleading nature of the enterprise is embodied by its very name. That is because, though Defendant promised ‘Trump University,’ he delivered neither Donald Trump nor a University.” Further, “Trump University provided no degrees, no credits, no licenses, nor anything else of marketable value to student-victims.”

The suit notes that “In January of 2010, the Better Business Bureau gave Trump University a D-minus rating.” Later, “after Defendant changed Trump University’s name in mid-2010, Defendant demanded an ‘A+’ evaluation, and when the BBB was unable to issue a good ‘grade’ due to ongoing consumer complaints, Defendant Trump called the BBB and his lawyer threatened to sue the BBB. As a result, the BBB changed Trump University’s ‘grade’ to ‘NR’ for ‘Not Rated.’”

Most ominously for Trump, plaintiff Art Cohen accuses him of “a pattern of racketeering activity” under 18 U.S. Code § 1962, the notorious RICO statute, normally deployed against the Mafia and other organized-crime syndicates.

Republican primary voters should ask themselves if they really want to bet the White House on Donald D-minus Trump, a candidate who faces three major fraud lawsuits, including allegations of running a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization.

Deroy Murdock is a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University. Read more reports from Deroy Murdock — Click Here Now.
 

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A four-judge appellate court panel in Albany rejected Trump’s motion to dismiss Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s $40 million fraud lawsuit on behalf of some 5,000 students who spent up to $35,000 at Trump University.
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2016-40-03
Thursday, 03 Mar 2016 02:40 PM
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