Real estate mogul Donald Trump created Trump University promising students they’d learn the “insider” secrets of real estate and become his “next apprentice.” But a few former students are saying Trump’s courses fell short and were filled with “infomercials” disguised as educational classes that took advantage of people in “troubled economic times,” according to a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in San Diego that alleges consumer fraud.
Along with touting his wealth and business acumen, real estate mogul Donald Trump has long portrayed himself as an educator, who is ready and willing to impart the knowledge that can turn any motivated person into a multimillionaire.
On top of the millions who watch his prime-time smash hit, “Celebrity Apprentice,” thousands have enrolled in seminars with Trump University in order to better learn his money-making real estate sales methods. The educational program, launched in 2005, promises mentorships that are “the next best thing” to being Trump’s apprentice.
“I’m deeply and actively involved in Trump University because I firmly believe in the power of education and its function as an engine of success,” he wrote in “Trump 101: The Way to Success.” “I want to help people, and, simply put, the Trump University students want to be successful. I’m on their side.”
Yet Trump’s credentials as an educator may be undercut by the recent history of his so-called university. The for-profit institution is the target of a class-action lawsuit in federal court and the attorneys general of six states are investigating numerous complaints about it.
Tarla Makaeff’s class action suit comes with “Trump University” already under fire from the state Education Department, which is demanding the program immediately stop calling itself a university in violation of state education law.
In a strongly worded letter obtained by the Daily News, the state Education Department slammed the tycoon for calling the cyber-school a university and demanded he stop using the term.
“Use of the word ‘university’ by your corporation is misleading and violates New York Education Law and the Rules of the Board of Regents,” wrote Deputy Commissioner for Higher Education Joseph Frey. Trump now calls his “university” , ready? “Trump Entrepreneur Initiative” whatever that means.
Adding to Trump’s woes, the for-profit firm that promises to teach wanna-be billionaires the secrets of deal-making was hit with a D-minus rating by the Better Business Bureau in January.
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