Say it ain’t so. NY sues Trump University

posted at 12:31 pm on August 25, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

Who could have imagined that a state Attorney General who once solicited contributions from the rich and powerful Donald Trump could turn around and launch an investigation into his affairs? Who could have dreamed that one of the most successful businessmen in the Big Apple might be questioned about the success of one of his operations? Who might have guessed that the State of New York would sue “Trump University” for essentially running a phony educational enterprise?

Wait a minute… Trump has a university?

ALBANY, N.Y. — 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 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.”

I’ll confess, I was unaware that The Donald was running a university for aspiring real estate and investment moguls. For a bargain basement price ranging from around $1,500 up to $35,000 you could be entered into a series of seminars and workshops which should lead to profitable business ventures and / or professional positions setting your feet on the ladder of success. Unfortunately, according to the complaint, many students didn’t even get to meet Trump, but rather wound having their picture taken in front of a life-size picture of “The Apprentice” TV star.

Further, they claim that Trump had been the subject of scrutiny for a few years already for even calling the enterprise a “university.”

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.

If the state of New York succeeds in getting the $40M out of Trump, the stated purpose is to reimburse the students who paid for these services. (Of course, being New York, we should wait to believe that until the checks actually clear in people’s accounts.) But can you sue a school over the fact that students didn’t land a particular job or kick off a real estate deal upon completion? It seems as if there would be some sort of built in caveat emptor when enrolling in this sort of professional advancement course. Offering somebody the tools for success does not, after all, assure that they will succeed. Then again… welcome to New York. Anything is possible, particularly if it comes to suing somebody.


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…comb over?

KOOLAID2 on August 25, 2013 at 12:36 PM

what is not said enough about Trump is that his father was in the real estate business and gave him millions of dollars initially to fund his enterprises.

developing a billion dollar empire is easier when starting with 40 million dollars than going from zero to millions.

gerrym51 on August 25, 2013 at 12:39 PM

…hair dryer?

KOOLAID2 on August 25, 2013 at 12:40 PM

gerrym51 on August 25, 2013 at 12:39 PM

u know the Donald has declared corporate bankruptcy 4 times in the past 20 years or so….probably could have lots of courses on how to go bankrupt and rise again over and over at Trump U.

gracie on August 25, 2013 at 12:46 PM

“Trump University engaged in deception at every stage of consumers’ advancement through costly programs and caused real financial harm,” Schneiderman said.

LOL. You could say that about pretty much any of the high-priced colleges or universities, these days. I’d rather see Columbia sued and burned to the ground for having graduated an obvious idiot (who isn’t even up to a high school level) and causing great harm and damage (and eventual death) to the United States. Same for Hah-vahc Lawn School. Both of those despicable institutions should be sued into oblivion for having sicced Barky (and many other sub-par – to be generous – affirmative action morons) on our nation.

This is just a malicious prosecution against Trump. It’s hysterical to claim that he’s injuring people by charging them “$1,500 up to $35,000″ for seminars. What about the fools who pay $40,000+ every single year to get a degree in Black Studies or Women’s Studies or any of the other joke fields – and most of these students are people that the universities KNOW have no business in higher education, to begin with … even in joke departments?

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 25, 2013 at 12:46 PM

So what about the New York Public school system?

sharrukin on August 25, 2013 at 1:04 PM

How is Trump University different from those “No Money Down” get-rich-quick seminars people have been flogging on infomercials for years?

myiq2xu on August 25, 2013 at 1:04 PM

He’s used to being sued.

Although mayyyyyyybe he’s started being more critical of the DOTUS lately so…….

Nah, that couldn’t be it never mind.

PappyD61 on August 25, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Holder and his cronies are suing anybody that even contemplates a conservative approach to life or government. This poor Republic is very sick.

rplat on August 25, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Maybe the government should get their own houses in order. I am not sure that people who have turned our public schools into a joke should be throwing stones.

CW on August 25, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Who are the dummies?

Plus, the guy who’s suing might have committed extortion…not that Trump or anyone are excused, if they are charlatans.

Speaking of, how about suing the entire DC establishment, and the rest too?

Schadenfreude on August 25, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Trump will likely benefit from the notoriety, no matter the ending.

The morons “paid to get a picture with Trump”…you idiots, such stupidity must be punished.

Schadenfreude on August 25, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Many idiots are born every second.

Schadenfreude on August 25, 2013 at 1:33 PM

many students didn’t even get to meet Trump, but rather wound having their picture taken in front of a life-size picture of “The Apprentice” TV star.

Did they notice the difference?

WhatSlushfund on August 25, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Many idiots are born every second.

Schadenfreude on August 25, 2013 at 1:33 PM

I am currently teaching my 17 year old twin boys to drive a car. My first bit of information after them asking “why did that person just do that?” – “Sons, just assume everybody around you is an idiot, it will make driving and life a whole lot easier”.

VegasRick on August 25, 2013 at 1:38 PM

If you are stupid enough to trust Donald Trump, you are getting what you deserve. Phony college for phony people run by a phony educator. You are all fired.

simkeith on August 25, 2013 at 1:45 PM

P. T. Barnum was right.

simkeith on August 25, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Jazz writes:
It seems as if there would be some sort of built in caveat emptor when enrolling in this sort of professional advancement course.

Like with any such for-profit enterprise, be highly skeptical it’s worth it. I’d say the same for traditional universities and colleges, but that’s another story.

Paul-Cincy on August 25, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Of course, being New York, we should wait to believe that until the checks actually clear in people’s accounts.

My accountant recently discovered some unclaimed funds being held in my name at the NY Comptroller’s office. For what and how much they don’t say. I went to the website, and there I was in their system. I filled out their forms and submitted all the necessary documentation. Over two weeks later I get a letter saying it would take up to 90 days to process my request. I’m at 60 days and counting.

RadClown on August 25, 2013 at 2:14 PM

As much of a self-promoting jerk “The Donald” can be, this is politically motivated.

The New York AG, Eric Schneiderman is well known for using the Spitzer playbook. If Trump had made a contribution Schneiderman’s campaign, this wouldn’t exist.

ironbill on August 25, 2013 at 2:21 PM

And how many recent NYU grads still do not have a job after 1,2,3,4, or even 5 years?

Puhlease, fuggit about it.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 25, 2013 at 2:27 PM

The New York AG, Eric Schneiderman is well known for using the Spitzer playbook. If Trump had made a contribution Schneiderman’s campaign, this wouldn’t exist.

ironbill on August 25, 2013 at 2:21 PM

He did! He gave him $125,000. He just won’t give him any more.

You can learn a lot from these real estate courses but you have to put it to use. So many of these people are just dreamers and not action takers.

However, you do need some money to get started and most of that is for marketing. You can acquire property for no money down but there is cost if you want a real estate business.

Vince on August 25, 2013 at 2:43 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 25, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Once again, I believe you misunderstand the basic nature of things. Universities are institutions of higher learning on a wide variety of subjects. Their purpose is to educate, which may or may not lead to better career prospects.

John the Libertarian on August 25, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Poser caught posing.

Blaise on August 25, 2013 at 2:59 PM

And who does NYC sue for all the retard dropouts the NYC public school system pumps out every year…?

NeoKong on August 25, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Those poor schmucks, they should have enrolled in Hamburger University

ExpressoBold on August 25, 2013 at 3:17 PM

State lawsuits like this are more accurately described as shakedowns, the object is to get some quick money when the institute settles for a fraction of the stated amount to stop the bad publicity.

If a state’s public schools deliver as promised, then they have the moral authority to demand accountability from private education. So that makes, what? Iowa and Montana? Wyoming?

Adjoran on August 25, 2013 at 3:26 PM

New York City public schools have around a 50% dropout rate despite spending more taxpayer dollars per student than anywhere in the world. Sounds pretty damn fraudulent to me.

RadClown on August 25, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Once again, I believe you misunderstand the basic nature of things. Universities are institutions of higher learning on a wide variety of subjects. Their purpose is to educate, which may or may not lead to better career prospects.

John the Libertarian on August 25, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Oy. I can tell that you are totally unfamiliar with academia and what it really is used for, these days. Not every “subject” is worthy of a university department. In addition, not every implementation of even worthy academic subjects rises to the level that it should be at to be offered at a university that still, has real departments, like math, physics, etc. Legitimate diplomas are diluted and made mockeries of by these joke departments in the same university – not to mention the joke students who are accepted in order to let the university try and feel better about itself rather than advance any academic standards.

Try thinking before you post.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 25, 2013 at 3:39 PM

I am currently teaching my 17 year old twin boys to drive a car. My first bit of information after them asking “why did that person just do that?” – “Sons, just assume everybody around you is an idiot, it will make driving and life a whole lot easier”.

VegasRick on August 25, 2013 at 1:38 PM

You waited till they were 17 to tell them that?

Fenris on August 25, 2013 at 3:47 PM

That picture of Trump! If you penciled in a little Charlie Chaplin mustache and blackened the hair….

Oldnuke on August 25, 2013 at 4:06 PM

not to mention the joke students who are accepted in order to let the university try and feel better about itself rather than advance any academic standards.

Try thinking before you post.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 25, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Stop talking about our president like that. It’s degrading.

Oldnuke on August 25, 2013 at 4:07 PM

“Sons, just assume everybody around you is an idiot, it will make driving and life a whole lot easier”.

VegasRick on August 25, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Actually that is an incredibly short-sighted stupid approach. People who say stuff like this often do so to seem cool in their own mind. What’s your reason. Because your sons’ safety obviously wasn’t the driving force.

What do you tell them about sex? Let me guess, condoms are evil and abstinence is the way to go.

Capitalist Hog on August 25, 2013 at 6:31 PM

It’s one of three things…the attorney general is looking towards his political future, it’s some kind of money-laundering operation involving The Donald himself, or it’s extortion.

Maybe some combination.

One thing’s for certain…it ain’t about Justice and protecting the interests of the people of New York.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 25, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Actually that is an incredibly short-sighted stupid approach. People who say stuff like this often do so to seem cool in their own mind. What’s your reason. Because your sons’ safety obviously wasn’t the driving force.

What do you tell them about sex? Let me guess, condoms are evil and abstinence is the way to go.

Capitalist Hog on August 25, 2013 at 6:31 PM

Troll, do you drive? If you did, you would know that predicting the behavior of those around you can help you prepare for what’s coming – obstacles, lights, possible turns, pedestrians, etc.

Now if you get someone who doesn’t behave like a “normal” driver does, then you have to spend attention on that rather than on other things or you may have to react quickly.

Thinking that everyone is an idiot just simplifies this so when someone starts braking for absolutely no reason in front of a green light you’re already half there to reacting – you expect stupidity.

If you weren’t a moron you’d know this.

You’re welcome.

kim roy on August 25, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Trump is a current enemy of the left, since he had the audacity to question Obama’s management of the country.

As for “universities” meeting their promises … do we want to go there?

virgo on August 26, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Trump University?!?!?!
Is that like that All State Insurance University in those commercials?

Sounds like it is on par with beauty schools and those schools that advertise on daytime television urging you to enroll in their 6 month medical assistant’s assistant school to get a great job and meet a doctor and get married etc.

But can you sue a school over the fact that students didn’t land a particular job or kick off a real estate deal upon completion?

Many years back a linebacker/defensive end with the Redskins sued the university he graduated from because he was functionally illiterate and in his 30′s-late 20′s. I do not think he won as it was a major university and they are all going strong. If you could win the above suit there would be no institutes of higher learning operating.

Bubba Redneck on August 26, 2013 at 4:40 PM