New York Appeals Court ruled fraud claim against Trump University can continue.
Donald Trump may have won the most delegates during Super Tuesday, but he couldn’t win in New York where a New York court ruled that the state’s fraud claim against his Trump University can proceed.
The claim is seeking $40 million for the thousands of people who shelled out cash for a since-defunct for-profit seminar that promised investors to learn about the bombastic billionaire’s real estate expertise. Trump University, which cost upwards of $35,000 to attend, has become the focus of the Republican presidential primary in the past week as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio made it one of his main points of contention during a debate on Thursday night.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed the suit in 2013, but nearly lost out on the easier level of fraud to try the case. A lower court in Manhattan had earlier only allowed the common-law fraud, which requires a proof of intent to defraud. The four-judge panel ruled the second claim of fraud can proceed, bringing the case closer to a trial. And, because the proof of intent is not required, the chances for Trump’s venture to be held liable increases.
Another move by the court involved extending the statute of limitations on the fraud claim to move back three years from 2010 to 2007. The program stopped admitting students in 2010.
“Today’s decision is a clear victory in our effort to hold Donald Trump and Trump University accountable for defrauding thousands of students,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
Alan Garten, one of the attorneys for Trump’s business, said he would appeal the ruling and said the case was more about politics than fraud.
“We think all these claims are without merit and baseless,” Garten said. He then used the same argument Trump did during the debate that many of the participants rated the program highly, despite comments from previous students who said they were pressured to give good reviews.
Rubio used the school as one of a number of reasons why Trump is a “con-man” since the Thursday debate.
“Some graduated, some didn’t, but in the end the only thing you got was a piece of paper that was worthless and a picture with a cardboard cutout of Donald Trump,” Rubio said.
Part of the lower-court decision included a ruling that Trump University operated illegally in New York as an unlicensed educational institution. Because Trump used the word University in the program’s name, it violated state law that allowed only those chartered as universities to use the word in its name. In 2010, five years after New York pressed Trump on the issue, Trump University changed to Trump Entrepreneur Initiative. That same year it ceased operations.
Another lawsuit against Trump University is pending in California.
Hanania covered Chicago political beats including Chicago City Hall while at the Daily Southtown Newspapers (1976-1985) and later for the Chicago Sun-Times (1985-1992). He published The Villager Community Newspapers covering 12 Southwest suburban regions (1993-1997). Hanania also hosted live political news radio talkshows on WLS AM (1980 - 1991), and also on WBBM FM, WLUP FM, WSBC AM in Chicago, and WNZK AM in Detroit.
The recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, Hanania was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hananiaalso received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
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