New York Sues Donald Trump Over Real Estate ‘University’

Photo (cc) by Gage Skidmore

The New York Attorney General’s Office has sued Donald Trump and his school, Trump University, for alleged illegal business practices, The New York Times says.

“No one, no matter how rich or popular they are, has a right to scam hard-working New Yorkers. Anyone who does should expect to be held accountable,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement about the lawsuit, which details the allegations.

The lawsuit seeks at least $40 million from the school for allegedly running as an unlicensed educational institution from 2005 to 2011 and making false claims about its classes, including that Trump handpicked instructors, the Times says. The suit claims Trump chose no instructors and had not created any course’s curriculum.

It also claims that many of Trump’s would-be apprentices were unable to land a single real estate deal and faced thousands of dollars of debt for the program, The Associated Press says. Complaints covered by the lawsuit indicate students paid anywhere from $1,495 to $35,000 for lessons, and didn’t get what they expected.

The real estate mogul/TV celebrity has responded by calling Schneiderman “a political hack,” Politico says. He didn’t stop there.

“Trump, who for years raised questions about the birth status of President Barack Obama — even after the president released his birth certificate — characteristically suggested that Obama had ordered the prosecution,” Time says.

One of Trump’s lawyers, George Sorial, has another theory: He suggested the lawsuit is payback for Trump not contributing more to Schneiderman’s campaign. “This is tantamount to extortion,” Sorial told the Times. Trump contributed $12,500 to Schneiderman’s campaign in October 2010, the AP says.

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