Politics

NY Attorney General: Trump University Was Fraud (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Eric SchneidermanEric Schneiderman

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on June 2 that Trump University, a for-profit real estate training program that was owned by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, was a "fraud" (video below).

ABC News' "Good Morning America" host George Stephanopoulos asked Schneiderman what laws Trump allegedly broke in New York, since that state had filed a lawsuit against the GOP front-runner in 2013, notes POLITICO.

Schneiderman replied:

We have a law against running an illegal unlicensed university. This never was a university. The fraud started with the name of the organization, and you can’t just go around saying this is the George Stephanopoulos Law Firm/Hospital/University without actually qualifying and registering, so it was really a fraud from beginning to end.

New York’s lawsuit is one of several against Trump over his university, which is no longer in business.

Stephanopoulos mentioned that Trump has said the university was a philanthropic venture, but Schneiderman fired back: "If it was a philanthropic venture, he certainly made out well from the philanthropic venture. The initial estimates are that he personally pocketed $5 million from this."

Stephanopoulos asked Schneiderman if he could prove that assertion, and Schneiderman replied, "We’re going to get more information when we get to the damages phase of the trial, but we’re confident that he didn’t do this for free."

Schneiderman was asked if the New York lawsuit against Trump was politically motivated, since Schneiderman has endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Schneiderman said it was not and that the lawsuit was filed in 2013, two years before Trump decided to run for president.

Schneiderman dropped another revelation on the same morning during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

ThinkProgress notes that Trump has repeatedly said that he "never settles" lawsuits, but Schneiderman said: "Before the complaint was filed, yes, there were settlement discussions. ... I didn't speak to him personally, but our lawyers spoke to his lawyers and there were offers going back and forth. He did offer to settle. He settles cases all the time."

Earlier in the broadcast, Schneiderman called Trump University a "fraud" again:

It's fraud. This is just straight up fraud. It's like selling people something you say is a Mercedes and it turns out to be a Volkswagen. And even if some people say, "Well I actually kind of like the Volkswagen," it's still fraud, because it's not a Mercedes. This was not a university. And in New York, we are a little sensitive, you can't just put up a sign saying Scarborough Hospital, Scarborough University, Scarborough Law Firm.

Sources: POLITICO, ThinkProgress / Photo Credit: ABC News via YouTube

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