Appellate Court restores fraud case against Trump University
Mar 02, 2016 05:23 AM EST
A New York Court of Appeals denied the appeal of presidential candidate Donald Trump to dismiss the fraud case against him.
Four judge panel of the state Appellate Division unanimously decided that the state Attorney General's office is authorized to bring a cause of action for fraud.
In 2013, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed two fraud claims against the Trump Organization. He alleged that the for-profit program leveraged Trump's celebrity to entice students into paying as much as $35,000 for a purported real estate school, though the school was not accredited and failed to provide the education it promised
In 2014, a judge dropped one of the original fraud claims, yet the other four judges in appeal panel in Manhattan allowed both claims to move forward.
Moreover, the civil lawsuit accused the school of engaging in illegal business practices by running an unlicensed educational institution from 2005 to 2011 and making false claims about its classes. Such lawsuit prayed for at least $40 million in restitution.
"Today's decision is a clear victory in our effort to hold Donald Trump and Trump University accountable for defrauding thousands of students. We look forward to demonstrating in a court of law that Donald Trump and his sham for-profit college defrauded more than 5,000 consumers out of millions of dollars." Schneiderman said in a statement.
He added that entire fraud case can move forward. He also emphasized that the case is subject to a six-year statute of limitations.
Affirmed by the appellate court, "The Attorney General further maintained that the instructors had been inadequately vetted and in fact had little or no experience in real estate investing, instead having prior work experience such as food service management and graphic design."
Trump launched the University in 2005 with a promotional statement, "I can turn anyone into a successful real estate investor, including you."
Moreso, the advertising for the school claimed that each professor was handpicked by Donald Trump himself. However, it was exposed that only one of them ever actually met Trump in person. The university was also to have hired incompetent professors having no expertise in the real estate field.
Trump filed two ethics complaints against the attorney general for gross incompetence and wasting millions in taxpayer money. Yet, the New York Ethics Commission stated that such cases cannot be put in proceeding until August.
Trump University changed its name to the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative before it closed in 2010.
Trump's legal team will pursue for an appeal.