Tags: Donald Trump, Lawsuits, life-size pictures, real estate, testimonials, Trump Entrepreneur Institute, Trump University
Were they baited with promises of meeting the Donald in the flesh, only to be offered an opportunity to stand in line for a photo-op with a poster bearing his face? Maybe. Did thousands of Trump College alums nevertheless give the school an A+, tuition well spent? Supposedly, yes.
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.”
But Trump’s attorney accused Schneiderman of trying to extort campaign contributions from the real estate mogul through his investigation of Trump. Attorney Michael D. Cohen told The Associated Press on Saturday that Schneiderman’s lawsuit was filled with falsehoods. Cohen said Trump and his university never defrauded anyone. He said Trump University provided nearly 11,000 testimonials to Schneiderman from students praising the program and said 98 percent of students in a survey termed the program “excellent.”
NY AG SUES TRUMP, ‘TRUMP UNIVERSITY,’ CLAIMS FRAUD [AP]
*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.