Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump announced his plans to reopen Trump University after the business academy had to shut down in 2010.
Trump University reportedly closed not because of the legal troubles it is currently facing, but because students were not signing up for its Gold elite mentoring program that costs almost $35,000. A memo from Trump University in 2010 stated the program was facing a “significant operations risk” and it closed a month later.
Lawsuits against the Trump University were filed two to three years after it closed.
After the litigation is disposed of and the case won, I have instructed my execs to open Trump U(?), so much interest in it! I will be pres.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 2, 2016
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who filed a class-action lawsuit against Trump University in 2013, said on Thursday that Trump “personally pocketed $5 million” from the company. Schneiderman said the university was “a fraud from beginning to end.”
The Attorney General added that Trump University was a school that claimed to be selling Trump’s secrets in real estate, but it was only luring students to sign up for their more expensive programs.
“And we know from his own sworn testimony … that he didn’t write the curriculum – none of them were his secrets,” Schneiderman told Good Morning America.
— POLITICO (@politico) June 3, 2016
Schneiderman claimed that his prosecution team had enough evidence — videos and documents — that would prove Trump’s real estate experts were not experts at all. The business mogul did not handpick the instructors, contrary to what he claimed, and he did not attend the seminars.
The presidential hopeful is facing three class-action lawsuits against Trump University over fraud charges. Nevertheless, the presumptive presidential nominee denied all allegations, but said he is ready to fight them all in court.
— Bisnow (@Bisnow) June 2, 2016
This week, the judge in one of two lawsuits in California released testimonies from former Trump University staff.
A recently unsealed affidavit described the program as a “fraudulent scheme.” Ronald Schnackenberg, who worked as a salesperson for Trump University, was among those who testified. He said that while the university claimed it wanted to help people become experts in real estate, “Trump University was only interested in selling every person the most expensive seminars they possibly could.”
Schnackenberg stated that the program “preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money.”
Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the federal judge overseeing the case, also published the “playbooks” that mentors allegedly used in selling expensive courses amounting to $34,995 to students. The playbook contained methods on how to encourage clients to spend more on their premium programs. It also outlined how salespeople should respond when students hesitate to buy their most expensive courses.
— The National Memo (@NationalMemo) June 1, 2016
Trump, in an effort to prove that Trump University is not a scam, cited surveys showing the company got high approval ratings from loyal clients. However, this was not enough to stop the lawsuits from being filed against the school.
On Wednesday, Trump tried to revive the reputation of his university by releasing a new campaign ad featuring three former students commending Trump University.
“The students on this video are representative of the many students who were overwhelmingly satisfied with Trump University,” the Trump campaign explained. “Rather than listen to the media spin, listen to the hard-working students who can attest first-hand to the truth about Trump University.”
Reports claim that none of the students who appeared in the ad are currently working in real estate, but two of them have business ties with the billionaire.
Kent Moyer, one of the three students, was described as an entrepreneur and founder of World Protection Group. He works as a motivational speaker.
Michelle Gunn, another former student, is also a motivational speaker. Casey Hoban, meanwhile, founded Trimino Protein Water and had partnered with the real estate mogul to sell the drink at Trump Tower and Trump golf courses.
[Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images]