While organizing materials for an article on Ponzi schemes, I came across this write up about Donald Trump on Wikipedia, which I thought I should share with you. It’s weird how the current president of the mighty USA can be listed as a con artist.
Have you ever encountered a con artist? A con artist, according to the Cambridge dictionary, is a person who deceives other people by making them believe something false or making them give money away.
Donald J. Trump was listed by Wikipedia among con artists that are still living. The brief article described how President Trump defrauded 7000 enrollees from 2005-2010 through now-defunct Trump University (sometimes also known as the Trump Wealth Institute and Trump Entrepreneur Initiative LLC).
The university was never an accredited institution of higher education, neither did it confer college credit, nor granted degrees, nor graded its students. Trump University used high-pressure tactics and misleading claims to sell three-to-five-day seminars billed as “retreats” to courses in real estate, asset management, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation.
During the operations of the infamous university, Donald Trump advertised the Trump University saying, ‘At Trump University we teach success. That’s what it’s all about. Success. It’s going to happen to you.”
According to Stephen Gilpin, a former professor at the defunct university: This wasn’t your average college student. Even though there were some of them that were young enough. These were middle-aged students and single housewives where their husbands had passed away. Gilpin alluded that Trump was a con artist who pulled a fast one on people that wanted to make a difference in their life through real estate. He added that “These people were taking their life savings or some cases their life savings or taking their retirements and some of them were even maxing out their credit cards to pay $35,000 to get that coaching, the infill, some retreats. You heard of Donald Trump and you thought, “real estate empire, self-made man.”
His clarification behind the con continued as Stephen Gilpin explained that when he came up from Florida for an interview, he realized that no one among those interviewing him really knew real estate. He was later than to selected his pedigree as a professor to actually work as their inside house coach mentor. At that point in time, according to Gilpin, “It wasn’t totally honest what was going on…They’re sharks in the water and they’re just high pressured salespeople…They were lying and through the students calling me in and telling me through the hotlines. That’s when we realized that uh oh. This is not gonna go far and it’s gonna go downhill.”
So, how did the court case end up?
Judge Gonzalo Curiel, in the Southern District of California on Monday, 9th of April 2018, finalized a $25 million settlement to be paid to attendees of the now-defunct real estate seminar called Trump University. Judge Curiel said, “This settlement marked a stunning reversal by President Trump, who for years refused to compensate the victims of his sham university.” He added, “My office won’t hesitate to hold those who commit fraud accountable, no matter how rich or powerful they may be.”
The Trump Organization spokesman said when the lawsuit was filed that he had “no doubt” Trump University would prevail if the case went to trial, but a “resolution of these matters” was a priority so Trump could focus on running the country.
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Stephen Gilpin talks about Trump University.