A New York appeals court on Tuesday has reopened a fraud claim brought by the state’s attorney general against Trump University – the for-profit online education outfit owned and founded by billionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The ruling that the fraud suit against Trump University for ‘deceptive and unlawful practices’ could proceed came in a case New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman filed against the Trump venture in 2013 in which Trump University was accused of misleading customers into paying for services they believed were provided by an accredited university.
Trump University – now known as the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative is not and has never been an accredited university or college and has never conferred degrees to its paying customers.
‘We started looking at Trump University and discovered that it was a classic bait-and-switch scheme’ said Schneiderman at the time of the suit’s original filing in 2013.
‘It was a scam – starting with the fact that it was not a university’.
Schneiderman further claimed that Trump University had misinformed its customers by leading them to believe that they were to be mentored by instructors handpicked by Trump himself – that the three-day seminar would include ‘access to ‘private’ or ‘hard money’ lenders and financing’ – a ‘year-long ‘apprenticeship support’ program’ and that it would ‘improve the credit scores’ of students.
The lawsuit accused the venture of using ‘bait and switch’ tactics to steer enrollees into higher cost seminars in which customers were pressured to sign up for courses on real estate – asset management – entrepreneurship and wealth creation – each of which charged fees ranging from $1,500 to $35,000.
‘If you don’t learn from them if you don’t learn from me if you don’t learn from the people that we’re going to be putting forward and these are all people handpicked by me then you’re just not going to make it in terms of world-class success’ Trump said in one of Trump University’s infomercials.