President Donald Trump and his adult children including Don Jr., Eric, and Ivanka now seem to set to face a publicly proceeding lawsuit over their promotion of a get-rich-quick scheme that swindled plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit out of “hundreds or thousands of dollars.” U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield of the Southern District of New York has now ruled against an attempt by the president’s side to get the case moved into arbitration, which would have been secret and could have kept potentially damaging information about the Trumps from spilling out into the open. Their attempt to move to arbitration hinged on the Trumps’ personal convenience, Schofield noted.
This week, Schofield ruled against the Trump family’s request for a hold on the lawsuit while they appeal her earlier decision allowing the suit to proceed publicly. The company that the Trumps promoted for years on-end was called ACN Opportunity, LLC, which peddled a multi-level marketing scheme that the Trumps repeatedly enthusiastically endorsed. The problem is that the Trumps were getting paid for these endorsements, which they did not reveal. The plaintiffs say that they took the Trumps at their word, which they expected to be free from financial conflicts of interest — but the Trumps were acting corruptly, and their whole pro-ACN act was a sham.
Schofield originally ruled, referring to the Trump family as the “Defendants”:
‘Defendants suggest that Plaintiffs knew that ACN and [the Trump family] were aligned such that a contractual obligation to one should be construed as a contractual obligation with the other. Plaintiffs here not only were unaware of the affiliation between [the Trump family] and ACN, but the business relationship was expressly hidden.’
And the Trumps seem aware of their precarious position, because they sought to move to secret arbitration after getting what they could out of the court system, including the dismissal of a couple (but not all) of the corruption allegations against them.
‘Defendants aggressively litigated in this judicial forum for eight months before informing Plaintiffs of their intent to arbitrate the surviving claims. Defendants obtained the benefits of litigating in federal court — dismissal of the racketeering claims, a stay of discovery while the motion was pending, and the issuance of numerous non-party subpoenas that would not have been available in arbitration. These wins and benefits on the defense side represent defeats and prejudice on the Plaintiffs’ side. Now that Defendants have extracted what they can from the judicial proceedings, they seek to move to a different forum. This conduct is both substantively prejudicial towards Plaintiffs and seeks to use the [Federal Arbitration Act (FAA)] as a vehicle to manipulate the rules of procedure to Defendants’ benefit and Plaintiffs’ harm.’
In other words — even in a court case brought over their attempt to swindle the plaintiffs, the Trumps are still trying to swindle the plaintiffs. This time, it’s justice that’s on the line.
This case is one of many in which the president’s rampant financial corruption has been revealed.
He has consistently sought to evade accountability for his actions, frequently through the scorched earth approach of confidently but completely wrongly declaring just about every investigator to be some kind of conspirator against him.