As CNN says in this Sept. 29 news report, Trump University looks to have followed a tried and true formula of Donald Trump: start something, wring as much money out of it as he can, and leave others holding the bag.
Notes CNN, “Multiple lawsuits have been filed against Trump University. CNN’s Drew Griffin takes an in-depth look into the lawsuits and what students claimed happened.”
This is not the first time questions have been raised.
It was only last August when the Washington Post ran this article, “Trump University: Why the N.Y. attorney general called it a scam”:
In 2005, the real estate magnate started an initiative that offered seminars in real estate, entrepreneurship and other related subjects and that charged from $1,500 to more than $35,000. It was called Trump University, even though it didn’t actually give out degrees and wasn’t accredited. Trump promised in one ad, “Just copy exactly what I’ve done and get rich.”
In 2010, he changed the name to the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative after the New York State Department of Education sent him a letter, according to the New York Daily News, accusing him of misleading the public by running an unauthorized school. The letter, signed by Deputy Commissioner for Higher Education Joseph Frey, said in part:
“Use of the word ‘university’ by your corporation is misleading and violates New York Education Law and the Rules of the Board of Regents.”
A year later, in 2011, the New York State Attorney General’s Office began investigating the program — which pretty much stopped operating at that point — and in 2013, Schneiderman filed a $40 million civil lawsuit against Trump and the institution, accusing both of charging more than 5,000 people big money to supposedly learn Trump’s successful real estate techniques but failing to deliver. The suit says Trump U — often using high-pressure sales tactics and telling students that the next, more expensive seminar would reveal important secrets — earned about $40 million from students and seeks to the money recovered.
It’s a mystery how this guy manages to fool so many people into thinking he possesses some grand business acumen. He started with Daddy’s money and has left a trail of anger, disappointments and lawsuits with so much of what he has done since.
Yet somehow this is rarely brought up against him in nearly every setting. These should be the questions reporters are dogging him with.
Better late than never, I guess.
To the list of unforgivable scams one can perpetrate in a society which mark the scammer as amoral — including cheating the elderly and widows — I would like to add the names of people who under false pretenses take money from students who are simply trying to make their lives better through education and leave them with nothing in return.