Trump University Needs a Continued Defense Against Fraud Claims

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There will be a continued defense against the fraud claims brought by New York against Trump University. The New York State Appellate Division has rendered a decision that permits Eric Schneiderman, as the New York State Attorney General, to continue his case against Trump University and other defendants, on the grounds of fraud. The case was appealed from the lowest trial court after Donald Trump’s attorneys attempted to have the matter tossed out, on the grounds that the complaint failed to state a case against the University.

Trump won the first round in the state Supreme Court, the lowest trial court with general jurisdiction in New York. The appeals court has reinstated the claim that had been tossed at an earlier date. This is a win for the state. The attorneys for the Trump group of defendants have also claimed victory, as the case can now proceed to trial. The state sought to have the matter decided solely on evidence submitted on paper; a type of expedited proceeding known as a summary judgment.

According to the alleged facts recited in the appellate writings, it has been claimed that Trump University was not licensed to operate in New York, and that it used the word “University,” when it was not chartered as one. After offering assurances that it would move its operations out of New York, the educational institute failed to do so. Further, the fraud claims are seeking recovery for students who thought they had paid $35,000 to study at a licensed university. The complaint is seeking redress for intentionally misleading more than 5,000 students nationwide.

The original case was filed by the state in 2013, long before Trump became a candidate for any public office. The allegations are that Trump University offered real estate seminar courses, promising to teach the techniques used by Trump to become wealthy.  The case became an issue used against Trump by his opponents in his primary battles. This decision will most likely resurrect the issue.

By Bob Reinhard
Edited by Jeanette Smith


New York State Office of Court Administration: People of the State of New York v. Trump Enterprises, et al.; 451463/2013
CNN: Trump University case will go to trial
Matter of People of the State of N.Y. by Eric T. Schneiderman v Trump Entrepreneur Initiative LLC: 2016 NY Slip Op 01430
Photo Courtesy of MrTomzay’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License