Trump may be first presidential nominee to stand trial for fraud
We have’t heard the last of Trump University and a fraud case where, for the first time ever, a presidential candidate will likely testify in his own defense in a trial where is being sued for fraud.
In the meantime, the details of the Trump Institute—the scam which preceded Trump University—are relatively unknown. Yet they are germane, and fascinating, and two reporters at Ars Technica, Joe Mullin and Jonathan Kaminsky, have the goods.
Mullin and Kaminsky give the Trump University backstory, and how Trump profiteered from a get-rich-quick scheme designed to appeal to those who could least afford it.
The launch of Trump Institute, in turn, paved the way for the later creation of the Trump University live seminar business, which continues to be one of the biggest scandals dogging Trump’s presidential campaign. The New York Attorney General sued Trump, the Trump University, and its president, Michael Sexton, in 2013, alleging that they had ripped off thousands of customers, some of whom paid tens of thousands of dollars for “mentorship” programs…
The New York attorney general filed a suit that continues today…Trump University’s three-day seminars were really a long pitch “to upsell the expensive Elite programs,” the lawsuit stated. (Those packages ranged from $10,000 to $35,000, according to the suit.)
Private claims came, too. In 2010, a class-action lawsuit was filed by disgruntled customers, many asserting losses into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Trump University changed its name after the New York lawsuit was filed, and it wound down that same year. Searching for it online now leads to a non-functioning website branded the “Trump Entrepreneur Initiative.”