from Bill Still
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What’s behind Marco Rubio’s assertions that Donald Trump is a “Con-Man”.
In early 2005, Donald Trump was approached by an entrepreneur named Michael Sexton who proposed The Trump University idea to teach various business subjects such as marketing, finance, sales and real estate under the prestigious Trump name and brand.
The school would offer training in a variety of methods, including classroom, on-line, and one-on-one mentorships.
A few months after opening, Trump University received a letter from the New York State Education Department – or SED – about the use of the term “University” when it was not licensed by SED as an accredited university.
SED even suggested that licensing would not be required if the LLC was moved outside of New York State and if it moved live teaching as well.
Trump Univ. agreed to move its LLC to Delaware and refrain from holding live programs in New York.
Five years later, on March 10, 2010, as the result of one student’s complaint, SED sent another letter demanding that it drop the term “University” from its name because they had neither moved their LLC, nor ceased conducting live classroom training.
At this point, there were no other complaints mentioned in court documents.
7 weeks later, Trump sent SED a letter saying that it was now in compliance, and that it had changed their name to TEI – Trump Entrepreneur Initiative.
Then 10 days later TEI closed the school entirely due to reduced market demand.
I read the 13-page decision by Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Cynthia S. Kern today. I’m not an attorney, so I read and re-read it 3-4 times. It can be found at:
Although Rubio and Cruz are running around the nation now calling Donald Trump a “con-artist”. Judge Kern specifically stated that even the Attorney General:
“… does not plead the elements of fraud, but only statutory violations which do not rise to the level of fraud.”
About the only thing Judge Kern did give the AG in her Jan. 31, 2014 decision was an injunction against Trump from starting back up without court approval.
The judge was sympathetic towards the amount of time and money Trump has had to spend simply for using the word “University.” Seven months after Trump shut it down, the new AG, Eric Schneiderman came after Trump with a vengeance, and according to Judge Kern’s decision:
“Over the next two years, TEI turned over hundreds of thousands of pages of documents and making certain employees of TEI available for deposition.”
The decision in favor of Trump dealt a severe blow to the politically ambitious Schneiderman. Before he came after Trump – as the “Observer” – a New York newspaper put it:
“Schneiderman had personally appealed to Donald Trump and members of his family for campaign donations even as the paperwork for this suit was being readied. [He] was grandstanding and the suit was essentially bogus.”
Today, there are less than 70 students who still are pursuing lawsuits out of between 10 and 20,000 students who took school’s courses.
According to the “Observer”, the judge has mostly shut down any further attacks on Trump University – or TEI.
The handful of dissatisfied students who remain displeased will have to travel to New York City to testify, under oath, as to why they are seeking a refund when 98% of the other students not only were happy with the course, but even filled out written report cards giving the school high marks and stating that they were completely satisfied with the program.
Incredibly, Trump’s supreme enemy in New York, the “Daily News” spun judge Kern’s decision in the only negative way possible:
“Judge Finds Donald Trump Liable for Running an Unlicensed School.”
Yes, but since Judge also found that AG Schneiderman filed his suit after the statute of limitations of 3 years had run out, there is apparently no penalty involved.
The uber-liberal ruling class in New York has always detested Trump’s conservative proclivities and done everything possible to prevent him from gaining a political foothold in the city. Consequently, Trump’s accomplishments are all the more astonishing against this sort of political headwind.
So, Rubio’s assertions of “con-artist’ are simply irresponsible hype and probably slanderous. But that hasn’t stopped The American Future Fund – a Marco Rubio-supporting PAC – from running attack ads as well.
They found 3 of these students and interviewed them for the attack ads. Only their first names are mentioned in the ads: Bob, Kevin and Sherri.
According to the “Observer”, Bob is:
“Robert Guillo, who took his first classes from September 25 to September 27 in 2009. He rated all 10 elements of the program “excellent,” giving a 5 out of 5 rating to every instructor.