Mere hours before the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice John Roberts swears President-in-waiting Donald Trump in as president of these United States, the real estate mogul settled something big. He had to pay out $25 million to settle a lawsuit against Trump University. The notoriously miserly self-proclaimed billionaire did not go easily down this road.
It all started when Trump came up with a business education venture centered around people learning how to duplicate the president-elect’s business shrewdness. The “university” promised people that Trump would at least pop in and out. Then it went very wrong.
First of all, people cannot just call themselves a university and like magic, they are a university. There are all kinds of hoops to jump through before an organization can legally call itself an institution of higher learning. That meant that Trump had to pay the state of New York a fine for misrepresenting his real estate seminar business.
Trump’s people announced the settlement two months ago, even though he repeatedly told rally attendees that he “never settles.” The president-elect’s attorney has not made a comment yet. However, the twitterer-in-chief jumped upon his Twitter account earlier to explain his reasoning, according to POLITICO:
‘I settled the Trump University lawsuit for a small fraction of the potential award because as President I have to focus on our country. The ONLY bad thing about winning the Presidency is that I did not have the time to go through a long but winning trial on Trump U. Too bad!
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman brought two federal class-action fraud lawsuits against the mogul. The reason was that Trump’s salespeople used manipulative and misleading sales techniques to talk people out of their life’s savings in return for the outrageously expensive course. The sales force also managed to get others to take out loans to pay for the seminars, money that they could ill afford to lose.
Trump did not show up at the seminars as promised, which he renamed the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative. In fact, the billionaire advertised that he knew the instructors, which he did not.
Schneiderman spokesperson Amy Spitalnick indicated the $25 million escrow account was a good first step, POLITICO reported:
‘The $25 million settlement marks a significant victory for the thousands of fraud victims in New York and across the country, all of whom will receive restitution, in addition to the up to $1 million in penalties Donald Trump will pay to the State of New York for violating education laws.’
The president-elect’s litigation involved returning between $1500 and $35,000 that the students paid for one-on-one mentor programs and the seminars.
The billionaire is awash in lawsuits. He appeared for a 90-minute deposition two weeks ago at Trump Tower for one of two lawsuits he filed. Two celebrity chefs refused to manage high-end restaurants at the new Trump hotel in Washington, D.C., after the president-elect disparaged minorities. Those cases are headed to the D.C. Superior Court.
A number of women have sued the near-president for alleged unwanted sexual advances. Celebrity attorney Gloria Allred is representing several of those women.
These lawsuits do not bode well for the next four years.
Featured Image: The Hill Twitter page.