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Judge Rejects Bid To Toss Trump University Lawsuit

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Judge Rejects Bid To Toss Trump University Lawsuit

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Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump formally accepts the nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Friday tentatively rejected Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s bid to dismiss a lawsuit by Trump University students who said they were defrauded through its real-estate seminars.

U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel in San Diego told a hearing he would take under consideration arguments on both sides in the case and issue a written ruling in the coming weeks.

The 2013 lawsuit, one of three over the defunct Trump University venture, was filed on behalf of students who paid up to $35,000 to learn Trump’s real estate investing “secrets” from his “hand-picked” instructors. The plaintiffs have sought class-action status.

The cases against Trump University have regularly cropped up during the presidential campaign. Trump was roundly criticized in May when he accused Curiel, who is of Mexican descent, of being biased against him because of the candidate’s pledge to build a border wall between the United States and Mexico.

Curiel, who was born in Indiana, is presiding over two of the cases, with one set for trial in late November. A separate lawsuit by New York’s attorney general is pending in that state.

Trump’s lawyers say Curiel should toss the 2013 California lawsuit on the grounds that the New York real estate mogul, though personally involved in developing the concept and curriculum, relied on other executives to manage Trump University by the time the plaintiffs purchased their seminars.

“By 2007, his involvement was fairly minimal. He was not the person running this company. He founded it, he established it and he went off and let other people run it. It’s like any other celebrity endorsement,” Trump attorney Daniel Petrocelli said during the hearing.

Trump’s lawyers claim references in marketing materials to “secrets,” “hand-picked” instructors or “university” were mere sales “puffery.” According to the defense, there is no evidence Trump intended to defraud students.

Lawyers for the students say the wealthy developer conducted the marketing for Trump University more than anyone else, starring in and approving promotional materials.

They claim Trump University instructors were high-pressure sales people, not “professors and adjunct professors” as Trump touted, and that New York authorities told Trump back in 2005 to stop calling his unaccredited venture a university.

“Somehow, belligerence trumps substance,” plaintiff’s attorney Jason Forge said. “If we say it loud enough, forcefully enough, it becomes true. Well, it doesn’t.”

Trump owned 92 percent of Trump University and had control over all major decisions, plaintiffs’ court papers say.

 

(Additional reporting by Karen Freifeld and Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Tom Brown and Jonathan Oatis)

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump formally accepts the nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 21, 2016.     REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

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15 Comments

  1. ivory69690@yahoo.com July 24, 2016

    According to the defense, there is no evidence Trump intended to defraud students/// are you kidding me his whole life fixed around defrauding as many people that the greedy bastard can squeeze a $buck from or for him ill bet he takes penny’s also fraud’s con’s and scam’s it DONNY DUMP’s profile the DUMPSTERS RULES TO SCREWING AS MANY AS HE CAN

    Reply
  2. ivory69690@yahoo.com July 24, 2016

    Trump back in 2005 to stop calling his unaccredited venture a university./// at the end after he loss all the case’s on his DUMP U and has to pay back the money then the DUMPSTERS pulling the rabbet out of the hat trick he will file a bankrupt and try to screw the government again with his screwing the DUMP U student also . and im sure the scum bag will find a way to make money out of that too the evil greedy bastard POS

    Reply
  3. ivory69690@yahoo.com July 24, 2016

    Trump back in 2005 to stop calling his unaccredited venture a university. OOHH YA and at the end when he loss it all then ask him (in court ) if it was a University he had running . and with the DONNY DUMP EGO he will say yes then is when thy courts give’s him a nothing to file bankrupt for charge him for all the taxes and money that it cost to either run or open up a University in the first place

    Reply
  4. Bren Frowick July 24, 2016

    “Trump’s lawyers claim references in marketing materials to “secrets,” “hand-picked” instructors or “university” were mere sales “puffery.” ”

    In other words, HELL YES it was fraud! Trump has always tried to put a firewall between himself and his frauds, which is how he managed to shield his personal fortune from vulnerability during his four bankruptcies, but his success at screwing people over for so many years appears to have made him less cautious about it, and this transparently bogus “defense” is falling apart. Very likely he is now standing on the edge of a crumbling cliff that will see him plummeting down, down to the fate he so richly deserves once the election is over and he has been electorally crushed. His empire is already fatally wounded by the countless testimonials from people he has shafted, and he will be hard-pressed to find anyone willing to work for him ever again on anything but a cash-up-front basis, which he is completely unable to manage, since no bank in the world is willing to loan him money anymore.

    Reply
    1. InGen12 July 24, 2016

      His entire campaign is nothing but “puffery”.

      Reply
      1. Brendamnewman1 July 25, 2016

        <<o. ★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★:::::::!be347p:….,…..

        Reply
      2. FireBaron July 25, 2016

        I prefer the old term “Trumpery” myself.

        Reply
  5. buffalogirl July 24, 2016

    I’m no fan of The Donald, but I don’t see why they’re picking on him over this so-called university.

    Over the years, especially during the housing boom, there were tons of real estate training scams where promises were never fulfilled, usually intentionally so; that is the very nature of a fraud. I can’t even count all the bleating infomercial “stars” imploring you to spend a few hundred or a few thousand dollars to buy their book, take their classes, attend their seminar, etc. and if you do, you’ll be a real estate millionaire within a year.

    Trumps’ real estate scam was no scummier than the other scummy scams, so why is he being singled out while they walk free?

    Reply
    1. Insinnergy July 24, 2016

      Ummm… Because he’s running for President? Are you stupid? Those other cons are also being charged and sued where legal action has been brought. So is this one. Apparently when you con enough people, badly enough, they band together and start legal action. Surprise, surprise.

      Here’s a more important question: Would you like someone who deliberately set up a business to con poor people and students out of their money and convince them to go into deeper debt for nothing to be your President?

      Perhaps you’d prefer it if no-one investigated anything about candidates, so you just have to pick one based on their looks?

      “Trumps’ real estate scam was no scummier than the other scummy scams, so why is he being singled out while they walk free?”
      This statement says to me: “I don’t mind if my President is a conman and has no moral compass.”

      Nice work.

      Please note: A great way to not be “singled out” and sued for being a slimy ethics-less conman… is to not base your businesses on screwing people over for money.

      Reply
    2. Independent1 July 24, 2016

      I guess that’s why we get so many shady people in our government because there are so many millions of Americans like you who don’t seem to care that the people they vote in as politicians, who have a lot of control over their lives, are actually nothing but ex con men or outright crooks; because no one bothered to check out their nefarious past. Do you really like your life to be controlled by crooks??

      Reply
    3. Joyce July 24, 2016

      You can’t just decide you want to call yourself a university without going through accreditation. College credits are earned and can be transferred to other colleges and universities that are recognized through the accreditation process. Trump u did not receive accreditation and therefore ineligible to call it a university. educate yourself on this

      Reply
    4. FireBaron July 25, 2016

      It’s easy, buffalogirl, Teflon Donnie needed another “get rich quick” scheme that he could foist off on others to fleece them, and tried to insulate himself from the repercussions. Unfortunately, when you have more than 90% controlling interest, you really cannot claim that others were running it and you have no idea what they were doing. That shows incompetence. The sign of a loser.

      Reply
  6. I of John July 25, 2016

    Perhaps this is Waterloo at last.

    Reply
    1. FireBaron July 25, 2016

      As an old Rabbi I knew used to say, “From your lips to God’s ear!”

      Reply
  7. iamproteus July 25, 2016

    Why isn’t there a law that specifically states that when you are trying to sell anything, whether it is a new mousetrap, a presidential candidate or anything in between, that you must be truthful in the rhetoric you use (no lies, insinuations or innuendos) or pay a “really huuuge” fine? …..Discuss.

    Reply

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