Front-running GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is still facing lawsuits from former students — and the New York attorney general — over the short-lived Trump University, alleging the enterprise bilked aspiring real estate investors out of their money with misleading ads, the Washington Post reports.
The former students claim generic seminars led by salesmen pressured them to invest more cash in additional courses, charge they didn't learn Trump's secret to success, and that they never got the individual guidance they expected.
One of the ex-students, Louie Liu of Hurst, Texas, a motel owner, said in a sworn affidavit he paid $1,495 for a three-day seminar, then felt lured into paying $24,995 for more classes, an online training program and a three-day in-person mentorship, the Post reports.
A few days later, he called to ask for a refund, but was rejected. Trump University, he concluded, was a "scam," the Post reports.
In a $40 million lawsuit filed in 2013, New York's attorney general Eric Schneiderman charged the enterprise engaged in persistent fraud and illegal and deceptive conduct and violated federal consumer protection law.
Approximately 80,000 people attended Trump University’s free introductory seminars, according to court documents. About 9,200 of them went on to pay $1,495 for three-day seminars, and nearly 800 paid up to $35,000 for packages that included mentorships and workshops, the Post reports.
Trump's attorneys vigorously deny the charges.
Alan Garten, general counsel for the Trump Organization, tells the Post the company offered aspiring real estate investors a quality education and that all but a handful of students were pleased with it.
"People who say, 'I thought it was a university with a football team and a bookstore,' it's laughable," he tells the Post. The enterprise was never licensed as a school, the Post notes.
Matt Mittenthal, a spokesman for Schneiderman, said the attorney general could not comment on the pending suit.
The judge in the New York case ruled last year Trump is personally liable for illegally operating a university without a proper license, the Post reports, but also ruled the statute of limitations prevents Schneiderman from seeking restitution for most of Trump University’s students. Schneiderman is appealing.
Whether the university defrauded students and how much Trump might owe in damages are yet to be decided, the Post notes. Yet even with the lawsuits dogging him, some former student haven't given up on him.
"He says what he means, not like politicians, not like [President Barack] Obama," Liu tells the Post.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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