June 24, 2016
The true cost of Trump University
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Josh Shapiro is a Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania attorney general
Josh Shapiro - Recently unsealed court documents from an ongoing lawsuit against Trump University revealed new details about the alleged fraudulent practices of the unaccredited, for-profit “university” founded by Donald Trump. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has filed a $40 million lawsuit alleging unfair and deceptive practices by Trump and his associates, summarized the case by saying, “It’s straight-up fraud.”
The records indicate that Trump University preyed on people looking for hope, opportunity and new careers in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. A court will determine Mr. Trump’s responsibility, but what this case shows is a fact of life we know too well: Everyday folks will be taken advantage of by powerful interests when no one is looking and no one holds them accountable.
One plaintiff is a Pittsburgh woman named Melissa Norris, who spent $17,000 for a Trump University seminar that included a coach who was supposed to help her find real-estate investments. This “coach” turned out to be a convicted criminal and the investment “opportunity” he directed her to turned out to be a Ponzi scheme.
When Ms. Norris lost a devastating $230,000, she had no way to recoup her loss. With cases pending across the country, there are likely many men and women like Ms. Norris who have been harmed.