In June 2009, Richard and Shelly Hewson paid the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, an educational venture owned by businessman and now–presidential candidate Donald Trump, $21,490 for classes that promised to teach them how to flip homes for profit.
They ponied up the high price “because we had faith in Donald Trump,” Richard wrote in a January 2015 affidavit. “We thought that if this was his program, we would be learning to do real estate deals from his people who knew his techniques.” What did the New Jersey couple get for shelling out more than $20,000 to a business bearing the famous Trump name?
An instructor took them on a field trip to see dilapidated homes in rough Philadelphia neighborhoods, never bothering to explain how to reliably find properties to sell for a profit. “We realized that Trump was not teaching us how to find these needles in a haystack,” Richard Hewson’s affidavit says. “We concluded that we had paid over $20,000 for nothing, based on our belief in Donald Trump and the promises made at the [organization’s] free seminar and three-day workshop.” “We never tried to get our money back because at that point we thought the whole thing was a scam and that we would not be able to fight Donald Trump,” Hewson wrote.
Now Trump is fighting more than a dozen other candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, making his pitch on his business record and the respect it’s garnered him from millions of voters. But will his image as a peerless, productive entrepreneur suffer because of allegations that one of his businesses — one that promised to help ordinary Americans achieve success like his — amounted to a scam?
A class-action lawsuit in California and an ongoing civil suit brought by New York allege that Trump University defrauded up to 5,000 students. The Hewsons are not alone: A class-action lawsuit in California and an ongoing civil suit brought by New York State allege that the now-defunct Trump University, later known as the Trump Entrepreneur Institute, defrauded up to 5,000 students, who paid as much as $35,000 to learn Trump’s real-estate investment strategies and techniques.
The venture was, as Trump enterprises go, not especially large — the New York complaint alleges Trump University earned about $40 million in revenue between 2005 and 2011. It’s just one of many businesses whose main selling point is Trump’s brand, a successful synthesis of prestige and up-by-your-bootstraps American entrepreneurship, quite at odds with the picture that recipients of a Trump education paint.
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/421236/donald-trump-university-scam-candidate-2016