Donald Trump’s For-Profit University Under Fire

CI - Jason Hartman Rental Property InvestingAs a self-professed news-addict, Jason Hartman can’t resist a good Donald Trump scandal, and since everyone’s favorite real estate mogul turned reality television star can’t seem to keep himself out of the spotlight for more than thirty seconds, here we go again. Hang on tight.

The charges and counter-charges are flying fast and furious in the $40 million lawsuit filed against “Trump University” by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The state’s case claims that developer and reality television star (Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice), Donald Trump, used the “university” as nothing more than an “elaborate bait and switch” scheme designed to sucker people into spending “thousands of dollars they didn’t have for lessons they never got.”

Trump appeared on Fox and Friends to question the legitimacy of the lawsuit, suggesting that President Obama, in a snit over The Donald’s incessant public bashing, dreamed up the idea of suing Trump’s profit-oriented, unlicensed school.

During his appearance, Trump said: “They meet on Thursday evening – I get sued by this AG Schneiderman – Saturday at one o’clock. Think of it. What government in the history of this country has ever brought a suit on Saturday? I never heard of such a thing.”

He went on to allege that the legal action could be an IRS/Tea Party type witch hunt, saying, “…They obviously did it very quickly, but probably Obama – maybe this is a mini IRS. Maybe we have to get the Tea Party after these people, because this could well be a mini IRS.”

Schneiderman made an appearance on CNN, where he said the subject of the discussion between himself and the president was not the real estate mogul. “The president and I have much more important stuff to talk about than Donald Trump,” he said. “I’ve never discussed Donald Trump with the president.”

Regardless of who ultimately wins this game of he said / she said, Mr. Trump can’t help but be happy that his name is being plastered all over the headlines again. The man is living, breathing proof that all publicity is good.

So what is “Trump University” being accused of? Essentially, there have been scattered complaints that $35,000 spent on “tuition” earns a student little more than a photograph with a life-sized Donald Trump cardboard cutout and a front row seat at the school’s lectures (or infomercials as some say). One complaint filed in U.S. District Court in San Diego says, “The primary lesson Trump University teaches its students is how to spend more money buying more Trump seminars.”

While Trump’s lawyers say the seminars have a customer satisfaction rating of 95 percent, the Better Business Bureau has awarded the program a D-minus rating. In case you’re wondering, that ain’t good. Where do we go from here? Who knows? Only time will tell how this drama plays out. One thing is for sure, when Donald Trump is involved, it’s guaranteed to be interesting. (Top image: Flickr | Imaginary Museum Projects: News Tableaus)

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