Donald Trump has made waves recently with his political outbursts, but it’s one of his business ventures that’s getting a lot of attention this week. The real estate mogul, businessman, reality star and right-winger has been hit with a $40 million lawsuit over his for-profit “Trump University.”
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman brought the fraud charges against Trump over the weekend, claiming that the “business school” is a scam that deceives customers and encourages them to go into debt to pay for pricey programs. Trump vehemently denies the allegations, and has accused Attorney General Schneiderman and President Obama of collaborating to bring him down.
On Monday night’s All In, Attorney General Schneiderman fired back, telling Chris Hayes, “I have more important things to talk to the president about than Donald Trump.”
Schneiderman also explained the alleged scheme of Trump University, telling Hayes that course instructors would encourage students to call their credit card companies and get their credit limits raised. They were then pushed to use the increased credit to buy more expensive programs, with lofty promises like the opportunity to meet Mr. Trump that never materialized.
Many people signed up for Trump University in the midst of the financial crisis. “People who are desperate often make the easiest victims,” said Schneiderman.
One of these alleged victims, former Trump University student Sema Cekinay, also joined All In Monday to talk about her experience. Cekinay had just been let go from her job in finance because of the recession when she heard about the program.
“Trump is very well associated with successful real estate, so you thought you were learning something,” she explained. “There’s a university name behind it. There were instructors coming in and out of that class that seemed to know…what they were doing and you wanted - when you’re around knowledge, you want to be around that knowledge for a long period of time. And it takes money to access knowledge sometimes, so you thought you were buying into something.”