Donald Trump fires back at 'sham' university lawsuit
The tycoon is on the warpath after New York state's attorney general sued him for $40 million over 'fraudulent' advertising claims.
Add one more antagonist to the long list of Donald Trump's enemies: New York state.
The pugnacious real estate tycoon is lashing out after New York's attorney general sued him for $40 million on Saturday, alleging that Trump's for-profit investment school engaged in illegal business practices.
The lawsuit is seeking restitution of $40 million and claims Trump appeared in advertisements that made "false promises" to persuade more than 5,000 people to sign up, according to a statement from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Schneiderman's office had some choice words for Trump University, alleging the institution is a "sham" university offering expensive classes "that did not deliver on their promises."
The lawsuit also claims the school was unlicensed under New York state law and failed to obtain the charter needed to actually call itself a university. (The school later changed its name to The Trump Entrepreneur Institute.)
Trump went on the offensive after the lawsuit was filed, writing on Twitter that Schneiderman, a Democrat, is a "lightweight" and a "total sleazebag." He also called the lawsuit "pathetic" and questioned why the attorney general filed the lawsuit on Saturday. "Unheard of," Trump wrote. "No case!" he added.
Trump, who has toyed with running for president as a Republican, questioned Schneiderman's priorities, suggesting that the lawsuit might have political motivations.
Regardless of how the legal battle plays out, it brings together several powder kegs: education, wealth and politics.
Trump built his form of celebrity on his brash personality and high-profile real estate projects. With his own reality-TV show, Comcast's (CMSCA) "The Apprentice," the tycoon has positioned himself as an expert on succeeding in business.
That apparently helped lure would-be magnates to his educational business. Schneiderman says Trump charged $1,495 for a three-day seminar, claimed it would teach enrollees how to become successful real estate investors by learning Trump's own strategies.
With Americans earning less than they did before the start of the recession, there's even more pressure on workers to find ways to make ends meet. Whether Trump offered valid instruction remains to be seen, but the truth is that Americans are increasingly looking for ways to get ahead in the still-struggling economy.
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
That man's companies went backrupt about three times, which means a lot of people did not get paid for good and services, while he got richer each time. Then he loaned his name to some other hotel or something, making people think it was his business when it wasn't and people ended up suing for false advertising and poor services. The man is a very rich, big mouthed nobody. If he didn't have any money, he'd be the big mouth drunk at the dive bar. What a loser. He is a poor representative of the human race. Even when he's right, and everbody is at some time, I don't trust him and I don't believe anything he will ever have to say. He is a total bore.
How can a man that has had his company declare bankruptcy multiple times know anything about investing?
Seriously the only thing this guy knows is how to shield his personal assets from creditors and working the system.
The guy in the park seeks to expose himself in a certain way. Trump lurking about is pretty much the same deal, except for the body part that seeks exposure (it's the Trumpchilla atop his head.)
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