A week after Donald Trump –billionaire real-estate mogul and television’s “The Apprentice” star – hinted at a 2016 presidential candidacy, he is being sued by New York's attorney general for $40 million, according to Yahoo! News on Sunday.
New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman claims that Donald Trump assisted in administrating a fraudulent “Trump University” that made promises that weren’t kept for students. Trump University promised students that they would be wealthy by learning from seminars in the course but did just the opposite, according to the case. The case alleges that students were guided into costly and educationally-useless activities via the seminars in the training course. Apprenticeships which were promised did not materialize either.
After news of the lawsuit hit the headlines over the weekend, Donald Trump fired back on Monday by saying that Attorney General Schneiderman is a "political hack from beginning to end." He went on to say, while talking to George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning, America" on Monday, that Trump University is a terrific school with a 98 percent approval rating by students.
While the suit alleges that many of the 5,000 Trump University students believed that they would meet Trump, they never even met him. The closest they reportedly got to Trump was having their picture taken with a life-sized picture of Trump. The cost of the course was up to $35,000.
According to Schneiderman, Trump University engaged in deception at every stage of consumers’ advancement through costly programs and caused real financial harm to the students. He also said that 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 Trump’s brand.
Within the lawsuit, it is said that the educational program was promoted as a top quality university with the instructors being chosen by Trump. It also said that students ended up much worse than they were before the seminar-lessons because they ended up being thousands of dollars in debt without having any real estate deal under their belts.
In the Supreme Court case in Manhattan, New York, Schneiderman is suing Trump as the chairman of Trump University, the program itself, and the former president of the university for having engaged in persistent fraud, violating the federal consumer protection law, and illegal and deceptive conduct. The suit also asserts that the program did not promptly cancel memberships in the university as promised.
Most of the money sought in the case will reimburse students who were allegedly “taken” by the university. The complaints represent students who were engaged with the university from 2005 to 2011 who paid from $1,495 to $35,000 to learn about real estate.