Filed under: Domestic Policy, Education, Law, Politics, Regulation | Tags: Acnieving Financial Success, Atty General Eric Schneiderman, Separate California Lawsuit
A New York judge has ruled that the fraud lawsuit brought against Donald Trump and his real estate school, Trump University, by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will go to trial. This is an unprecedented situation where the Republican front runner could have to testify this fall when he is possibly in the process of a campaign for the presidency.
Mr. Schneiderman, a Democrat, filed a civil lawsuit against the now-defunct Trump University in 2013 alleging that it exploited Mr. Trump’s celebrity status to persuade people to enroll in expensive courses that failed to deliver on their promises. Trump University defrauded more than 5,000 students in New York out of thousands of dollars each, according to the complaint, by billing itself as a real estate school and charging students as much as $35,000 for enrollment without having proper licensing.
A separate and pending lawsuit in California against Mr. Trump, filed in 2010 by former students, alleges that Trump University defrauded students around the country and made false promises about helping them achieve financial success.
A judge dropped one of two fraud claims in 2014, but in March a four-judge panel in Manhattan reinstated the claim and allowed Mr. Schneiderman to move forward with both fraud claims. Mr. Trump has denied the allegations and accused Mr. Schneiderman of “gross incompetence” and of “wasting millions” in taxpayer money.
Students could take a free introductory course, and then sign up for three-day seminars at a cost of $1,495. They were then encouraged to buy advanced training programs for about $35,000.
The institution rebranded the “university” in 2010 and renamed itself the “Trump Entrepreneur Initiative.” According to court documents it informed the New York Department of Education that it had ceased operation in 2010.
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