The New York Daily News on Monday reported on the Trump University class action lawsuit filed by Zeldes & Haeggquist LLP, as well as investigations by state attorneys general and complaints to the Better Business bureau involving Trump University. According to the article by Doug Feiden, Trump University and Trump Institute have been deluged by complaints from more than 150 students in at least 22 states claiming they’ve been cheated out of tens of thousands of dollars. These students include dozens of retirees, veterans, laid-off workers and seniors living on fixed incomes.
Trump University received a D-minus rating from the Better Business Bureau in January, which is under review after Trump University objected. Trump Institute got an F in early 2009. After the New York Department of Education demanded Trump University stop calling itself a “university,” it changed its name to the “Trump Entrepreneur Initiative LLC” on Tuesday.
Zeldes & Haeggquist client and former New York teacher Patricia Murphy, who spent $15,000 on Trump seminars is quoted in the Daily News article stating: ”I took out most of my life’s savings … maxed out my credit cards and badly damaged my credit rating. What do I have to show for it? Big bills, interest payments, finance charges – an awful lot of stress.”
According to the investigation by the New York Daily News, attorneys general in six states and several Business Bureaus have received numerous complaints, and some are initiating investigations:
– In January, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott launched a probe of Trump University’s “possibly deceptive” advertising and business practices after getting two dozen complaints.
– Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum’s office is “reviewing” 20 complaints from people who paid up to $35,000 for various “Trump Elite” packages promising “priceless information” that never came.
– Better Business Bureaus have tracked at least 70 allegations of deceptive practices from Brooklyn to Honolulu. Those include complaints by students that they were pressured to max out credit cards.
“The complaint alleges, and the facts will show that the purpose of each seminar is not to teach students about real estate investing, but to convince them to buy additional Trump seminars,” said Amber Eck, a partner in the San Diego-based law firm Zeldes & Haeggquist LLP.
Here is a link to the New York Daily News article – http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2010/05/31/2010-05-31_trump_u_flunks_students_complaints_pile_up_from_those_who_paid_up_to_30g_say_the.html