Monday, March 7, 2016
UPDATE: 3-2016 TO THE NATIONAL MEDIA: YOU KEEP CALLING OUR USA OFFICES ABOUT OUR INVOLVEMENT WITH TRUMP UNIVERSITY. WE WERE THE NATIONAL BACKBONE FOR THE ORGANIZATION. WE WERE BASED IN PROVO, UTAH . WE DID THE COACHING AND MENTORING AND WORKED WITH BILL ZANKER AT THE LEARNING ANNEX. WE PAID TRUMP 1 MILLION DOLLARS "Per Appearance" . And, YES, THERE WERE LAWSUITS FILED... HERE IS OUR ORIGINAL STATEMENT from 2014 Robert Paisola, CEO
MORE LAWSUITS OUT OF UTAH! DONALD TRUMP SUED. ALL FULFILLMENT WAS DONE OUT OF THE SALT LAKE CITY AND PROVO UTAH AREAS. I WAS THERE. IF YOU HAVE A COPY OF THE LAWSUIT PLEASE EMAIL TO ROBERT@ROBERTPAISOLA.COM WHO IS BILL ZANKER WITH THE LEARNING ANNEX LETS LOOK AT JOHN SWALLOW? (Do your research America)
CLASS ACTION 1
CLASS ACTION 2
Michael Cohen told the Associated Press on Saturday that Schneiderman's lawsuit was filled with falsehoods. Cohen said Trump and his university never defrauded anyone. LOL
The lawsuit, which seeks restitution of at least $40 million, accused Mr. Trump, the Trump Organization and others involved with the school of running it as an unlicensed educational institution from 2005 to 2011 and making false claims about its classes in what was described as “an elaborate bait-and-switch.”
In a statement, Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorney general, said Mr. Trump appeared in advertisements for the school making “false promises” to persuade more than 5,000 people around the country — including 600 New Yorkers — “to spend tens of thousands of dollars they couldn’t afford for lessons they never got.”
The advertisements claimed, for instance, that Mr. Trump had handpicked instructors to teach students “a systematic method for investing in real estate.” But according to the lawsuit, Mr. Trump had not chosen even a single instructor at the school and had not created the curriculums for any of its courses.
“No one, no matter how rich or famous they are, has a right to scam hardworking New Yorkers,” Mr. Schneiderman said in the statement. “Anyone who does should expect to be held accountable.”
The inquiry into Trump University came to light in May 2011 after dozens of people had complained to the authorities in New York, Texas, Florida and Illinois about the institution, which attracted prospective students with the promise of a free 90-minute seminar about real estate investing that, according to the lawsuit, “served as a sales pitch for a three-day seminar costing $1,495.” This three-day seminar was itself “an upsell,” the lawsuit said, for increasingly costly “Trump Elite” packages that included so-called personal mentorship programs at $35,000 a course.
On Saturday evening, Michael Cohen, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, denied the accusations in the lawsuit and said the school had received 11,000 evaluations, 98 percent of which rated students as “extremely satisfied.”
George Sorial, another lawyer for Mr. Trump, called the lawsuit politically motivated. He said that Mr. Schneiderman had asked Mr. Trump and his family for campaign contributions and grew angry when denied.
“This is tantamount to extortion,” Mr. Sorial said.
Andrew Friedman, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said that although Mr. Schneiderman had accepted a contribution from Mr. Trump in the past, “the fact that he’s still brave enough to follow the investigation wherever it may lead speaks to Mr. Schneiderman’s character.”
New York's attorney general sued Donald Trump for $40 million Saturday, saying the real estate mogul helped run a phony "Trump University" that promised to make students rich but instead steered them into expensive and mostly useless seminars, and even failed to deliver promised apprenticeships.
Trump shot back that the Democrat's lawsuit is false and politically motivated.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says many of the 5,000 students who paid up to $35,000 thought they would at least meet Trump but instead all they got was their picture taken in front of a life-size picture of "The Apprentice" TV star.
"Trump University engaged in deception at every stage of consumers' advancement through costly programs and caused real financial harm," Schneiderman said. "Trump University, with Donald Trump's knowledge and participation, relied on Trump's name recognition and celebrity status to take advantage of consumers who believed in the Trump brand."
But Trump's attorney accused Schneiderman of trying to extort campaign contributions from the real estate mogul through his investigation of Trump. Attorney Michael D. Cohen told The Associated Press on Saturday that Schneiderman's lawsuit was filled with falsehoods. Cohen said Trump and his university never defrauded anyone.
He said Trump University provided nearly 11,000 testimonials to Schneiderman from students praising the program and said 98 percent of students in a survey termed the program "excellent."
"The attorney general has been angry because he felt that Mr. Trump and his various companies should have done much more for him in terms of fundraising," Cohen said. "This entire investigation is politically motivated and it is a tremendous waste of taxpayers' money."
State Board of Elections records show Trump has spent more than $136,000 on New York campaigns since 2010. He contributed $12,500 to Schneiderman in October 2010, when Schneiderman was running for attorney general, records show. An outspoken conservative, Trump himself flirted with a presidential run last year.
"Donald Trump will not sit back and be extorted by anyone, including the attorney general," Cohen said.
The lawsuit says many of the wannabe moguls were unable to land even one real estate deal and were left far worse off than before the lessons, facing thousands of dollars in debt for the seminar program once billed as a top quality university with Trump's "hand-picked" instructors.
Schneiderman is suing the program, Trump as the university chairman, and the former president of the university in a case to be handled in state Supreme Court in Manhattan. He accuses them of engaging in persistent fraud, illegal and deceptive conduct and violating federal consumer protection law. The $40 million he seeks is mostly to pay restitution to consumers.
He dismissed Trump's claim of a political motive.
"The fact that he's still brave enough to follow the investigation wherever it may lead speaks to Mr. Schneiderman's character," Schneiderman spokesman Andrew Friedman told AP.
State Education Department officials had told Trump to change the name of his enterprise years ago, saying it lacked a license and didn't meet the legal definitions of a university. In 2011 it was renamed the Trump Entrepreneur Institute, but it has been dogged since by complaints from consumers and a few isolated civil lawsuits claiming it didn't fulfill its advertised claims.
Schneiderman's lawsuit covers complaints dating to 2005 through 2011. Students paid between $1,495 and $35,000 to learn from the Manhattan mogul who wrote the best seller, "Art of the Deal" a decade ago followed by "How to Get Rich" and "Think Like a Billionaire."
Scheiderman said the three-day seminars didn't, as promised, teach consumers everything they needed to know about real estate. The Trump University manual tells instructors not to let consumers "think three days will be enough to make them successful," Schneiderman said.
At the seminars, consumers were told about "Trump Elite" mentorships that cost $10,000 to $35,000. Students were promised individual instruction until they made their first deal. Schneiderman said participants were urged to extend the limit on their credit cards for real estate deals, but then used the credit to pay for the Trump Elite programs. The attorney general said the program also failed to promptly cancel memberships as promised.
Consumers may file complaints at:
(Reuters) - The New York state attorney general filed a $40 million lawsuit on Saturday against Donald Trump's for-profit investment school, Trump University, accusing it of engaging in illegal business practices, according to the New York Times.
The newspaper reported that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman alleged that the real estate mogul, his Trump Organization company and others made false claims about classes at the school, including that Trump handpicked instructors.
Representatives for the New York attorney general's office and Trump were not available for comment late on Saturday.
But Trump said in a post on Twitter, "Light weight NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is trying to extort me with a civil law suit."
The tweet linked to a website about Trump University, which says the school has a 98 percent approval rating from students.
The New York attorney general's lawsuit seeks restitution of at least $40 million, the Times said, and it alleges that Trump University was run as an unlicensed educational institution from 2005 to 2011 and that Trump did not create the curriculum for any of the school's courses.
(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski in Chicago; Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Peter Cooney)
The New York State attorney general’s office is investigating whether a for-profit school founded by Donald J. Trump, which charges students up to $35,000 a course, has engaged in illegal business practices, according to people briefed on the inquiry.
The investigation was prompted by about a dozen complaints concerning the Trump school that the attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, has found to be “credible” and “serious,” these people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was not yet public.
The inquiry is part of a broader examination of the for-profit education industry by Mr. Schneiderman’s office, which is opening investigations into at least five education companies that operate or have students in the state, according to the people speaking on the condition of anonymity.
The investigation is the latest problem for a six-year-old company, known until last year as Trump University, that already faces a string of consumer complaints, reprimands from state regulators and a lawsuit from dissatisfied former students.
George Sorial, a managing director of the Trump Organization, confirmed that the company had received a subpoena from the attorney general’s office, and said, “We look forward to resolving this matter and intend to fully cooperate with their inquiry.”
Mr. Schneiderman is looking into whether the schools and their recruiters misrepresent their ability to find students jobs, the quality of instruction, the cost of attending, and their programs accreditation, among other things. Such activities could constitute deceptive trade practices or fraud.
The four other companies are the Career Education Corporation, which runs the Sanford-Brown Institute, Briarcliffe College and American InterContintental University;Corinthian Colleges, the parent company of Everest Institute, WyoTech and Heald Colleges; Lincoln Educational Services, the owner of Lincoln Technical and Lincoln Colleges Online; and Bridgepoint Education, the operator of Ashford University.
Spokesmen for Lincoln Educational Services, Bridgeport Education and Corinthian Colleges each said the companies had been sent requests for information by the attorney general’s office and would comply with them.
A representative of Career Education Corporation declined to comment.
For-profit schools have become big business in the United States, especially as the unemployed seek a way back into the work force. Some of those schools, however, have been accused of creating as much economic harm as help: students have reported falling deep into debt to pay for classes that they said had failed to deliver what they had promised.
Mr. Trump’s institution is unique among for-profit schools: it is built almost entirely around the prestige and prominence of a single individual. Mr. Trump said he created the university in 2005 to impart decades’ worth of his business acumen to the general public. He aggressively marketed the school, telling students that his handpicked instructors would “teach you better than the best business school,” according to a transcript of a Web video.
The school has charged premium prices because of the Trump name, with the cost of the courses ranging from $1,500 to $35,000 each.
But, as The New York Times reported last week, dozens of students have complained about the quality of the program to the attorneys general of New York, Texas, Florida and Illinois. The Better Business Bureau gave the school a D-minus for 2010, its second-lowest grade, after receiving 23 complaints. Over the last three years, New York and Maryland have told the company to drop the word “university” from its title, saying that using it violated state education laws. (The school was renamed the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative in 2010.)
Four former students filed a suit against Trump University last year in a federal court in California, seeking class-action status. They contended that the school used high-pressure sales tactics to enroll students in the costly classes, promised extensive one-on-one instruction that did not materialize and employed “mentors” who at times recommended investments from which they stood to profit.
Mr. Sorial of the Trump Organization, which oversees Mr. Trump’s businesses, forcefully disputed those claims. He said on Thursday that 95 percent of the school’s students in New York had rated their courses as “excellent” on evaluation forms. The school’s national average is even higher, he said.
“Our customer satisfaction surveys speak for themselves,” he said.
As its troubles have mounted, the school has suspended new classes and begun overhauling its curriculum, executives said. One priority is finding a way to inject more of Mr. Trump into the program.
“The one thing is that they really wanted me involved, instead of the teachers,” Mr. Trump said in an interview last week.
In interviews, several former students said they felt betrayed by the real estate mogul and his school, especially after investing tens of thousands of dollars in what they thought was to be a comprehensive education.
“They lure you in with false promises,” said Patricia Murphy, 57, of the Bronx, who is among the former students suing Mr. Trump, whose suit makes similar claims. She said she had spent about $12,000 on Trump University classes, much of it paid with credit cards, in the hope of escaping her career as a part-time teacher and becoming a real estate investor.
Her instructors said they would introduce her to banks, help her secure loans and walk her, step by step, through deals, she recalled. “They did none of that,” she said. “I was scammed.”
Mr. Sorial said the school was looking into Ms. Murphy’s claims.
Carmen Mendez, 59, a public school teacher in Brooklyn, wrote to the Better Business Bureau in 2009 about her disappointment with the school — and with Mr. Trump. She said she had dipped into her retirement savings to pay nearly $35,000 for the classes, because “Mr. Trump is a very respectable person, and I thought that Trump University was a real institution,” she said in the letter to the Better Business Bureau.
An instructor promised her, she wrote, that the school guaranteed financial assistance to buy e real estate. But once she had enrolled, Ms. Mendez wrote, she was refused such assistance. Because her credit cards were loaded with debt to pay for the classes, mortgage brokers told her she was ineligible for a loan, she said.
“I am writing because I want people to be aware that Trump University is not a real educational institution,” she told the Better Business Bureau. “Please advise other people so they do not lose their savings in these difficult days.”
Mr. Sorial said that the school tried to offer Ms. Mendez a full refund more than six months ago. “She failed to return our numerous calls and e-mails,” he said.