Billionaire and now-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump founded what was once called Trump University in 2005, an institution that had the stated aim of providing specialized training and education to students who wanted to learn about real estate, entrepreneurship, and general money-making strategies.
However, the institute closed down after receiving legal complaints from its former students. A number of class-action lawsuits were filed against Trump for backing an institute that was allegedly an elaborate scam.
One lawsuit was from the New York Attorney General's Office in 2013, while the other one was filed in the San Diego federal court back in 2010. The suits allege that each student was asked to pay $10,000 to $35,000 in premium "Trump Elite" mentorship programs.
NY court unanimously agrees lawsuit for fraud against Trump University can proceed: https://t.co/iK5kyKmnYC pic.twitter.com/xi0fXLU6DGIn an attempt to disprove the allegations against him, Trump released a video on Monday, stating that two complainants, Bob Guillo and Kevin Scott, initially rated the seminars they had at Trump University as "excellent."
— Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallStNYC) March 5, 2016
Trump added that the fact that these two people have now surfaced in videos funded by the American Future Fund (AFF) to accuse him of scamming them is questionable, given that they previously gave their experience at Trump University a high rating.
He also claimed that of all the former students of the university, it had about 98 percent approval ratings, which are indicated in what he calls Report Cards.
The billionaire television personality said in the video that, once the two complainants are on the witness stand, "they will be shown" these reports.
"Why would anybody settle a case when we have reports like this?" Trump asks in the video. "I just can't do it."
Donald Trump Refutes Allegations Against Trump University
The Republican frontrunner added that he is not one to settle, especially when he knows that he is right.
For some reason, Trump tried to include the entire country in his statements, saying that the United States "should fight back" as well.
"We shouldn't just be settlers, we should fight back. And do what's right," he said.
Before the video ended, Trump said that he is looking forward to winning the class-action lawsuits filed against him.
Meanwhile, Trump's lawyer Alan Garten made a statement regarding his client's decision to name the people in the case.
"While these individuals may have at one time wished to remain anonymous, they lost that right when they injected themselves into the discussion by agreeing to be featured in a nationally televised commercial," Garten said.
Garten firmly believes that Trump's party is "completely winning this case."
Trump University, which was later named Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, has long been an object of controversy even before Trump expressed his interest to run for president.
Watch the Video Promoting Trump University
Some of the accusations state that the institute was not an actual "university" to begin with because it was not licensed or chartered. Regardless of its unofficial status as a university, the institute used a university-like seal and even handed out diplomas to people who completed their courses.
The New York State Education Department actually wrote a letter to Trump University asking them to change the name "university" and change its stated location from New York to Delaware.
Reports also showed that the billionaire did not hand pick experts and instructors for the courses like the ads for the university claimed.
In last week's debate, Trump's rivals also claimed that Trump University received a D rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), although the New York-raised candidate showed proof – which critics said was outdated – that the institute had actually gotten an A from the agency at one point.
The Better Business Bureau report, with an A rating for Trump University. #GOPDebate https://t.co/ldJ5EFp3HM pic.twitter.com/1K9u09CFQQThe lawsuits against Trump University are just a few among the controversies being thrown at Donald Trump in this crucial stretch of his campaign.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2016
[Image by Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images]