Lawsuit Accuses Donald Trump Of Running For-Profit University That Didn’t Teach Anything

Gettin' schooled.

Gettin’ schooled.

The New York State attorney general’s office filed a civil lawsuit over the weekend against Donald Trump’s eponymous school, where he had touted expert instructors ready to take students to new heights in the real estate world, claiming no one learned a thing and that it was just a bunch of false promises and side-swept hairdos.

The hair wasn’t part of the lawsuit, but the A.G. did really file a lawsuit against the for-profit investment schools, accusing Trump and his organization of engaging in illegal business practices by making false promises about what the school would do for students/customers, reports the New York Times.

Included in the lawsuit — which is seeking $40 million in restitution — are claims that the university was run as an unlicensed institution from 2005 to 2011, while convincing people to spend “tens of thousands of dollars they couldn’t afford for lessons they never got,” said Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorney general in a statement.

To that end, there have been dozens of complaints from people from New York to Texas, saying they’d been wooed by a free 90-minute seminar that worked as sort of a sales pitch for another, three-day seminar costing $1,495. That itself, was another upsell, according to the lawsuit, to get students hooked on a “Trump Elite” package costing $35,000 per course for personal mentorship programs.

What kind of education did Trump claim you could get? The lawsuit points to ads where Trump promised students would learn “a systematic method for investing in real estate” from investors he’d picked himself. Schneiderman says Trump didn’t lift a finger, however.

“No one, no matter how rich or famous they are, has a right to scam hardworking New Yorkers,” Schneiderman said in the statement. “Anyone who does should expect to be held accountable.”

Meanwhile, a lawyer for Trump denied the accusations and said that 98% of 11,000 evaluations had come back with students as “extremely satisfied.”

Trump University Made False Claims, Lawsuit Says [New York Times]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.