FTC Complaints About ‘Trump University’ Reveal What a Sham It May Have Been


Recently released complaints from former students of Donald Trump‘s Trump University, founded in 2005, indicate that the organization was much more of a shady than previous reports suggested.

Last month, CNN reported that the 2016 presidential front-runner for the GOP would soon appear in court to face questions regarding two separate lawsuits against him and the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative — so renamed after the state of New York filed a complaint against Trump’s university. The first was spearheaded by Art Cohen, a former student who claims he spent over $36,000 on the program. The second lawsuit was brought by the state of New York.

As the Washington Post and other outlets note, the supposedly educational programs have been plagued with complaints and lawsuits for several years now. However, considering Trump’s surging political ambitions at the moment, Trump University and all its setbacks have garnered renewed interest from outsiders.

Hence why Gizmodo writer Matt Novak issued a freedom of information request with the Federal Trade Commission — to see what some of the actual FTC complaints about Trump University said. Turns out, the presidential hopeful’s educational endeavors are an even bigger, steamier pile of crap that anything we’d previously imagined.

Highlights include a person who never received a free iPad door prize, despite being promised one at an event:

I attended a Trump Seminar in Scottsdale, AZ in August of 2010, with my husband. I was the lucky winner of the iPad door prize. They did not have the iPad in hand, so they gave me a name of a contact person at Trump Initiative. I called and never got a response from that particular person, though someone else did contact me. I have been in contact with this person, on and off (mostly off) since August.

I have the emails that we have corresponded back and forth. I have dates of phone calls, but no voice record of the conversations. I am also aware that I am NOT the only winner who has not received their iPad prize. I keep getting the response that they have not recieved their supply from their supplier. I have tried to resolve this issue on my own to no avail. I need assistance. As well as the other recipients. Unfortunately, I do not know who they are except for one. —- Additional Comments: To finally receive the iPad in question. At this point in time, since the new iPad 2 is out, I would like an upgrade for having had to wait so long.

A student who paid $20,000, in addition to basic program costs, for an individual mentor who was almost never present:

Consumer says she paid 1500 for a Real Estate class. Consumer says they also paid 20,000 dollars for a coach plus 30 extra dollars. Consumer says he has not called or contacted her in over a month. Consumer says the coach did nothing. Consumer says she was to get other classes. Consumer says they only offered them another mentor not their money back. Consumer says she found out the mentors was sub contractors and scammers. Consumer says she did not get a two year program so she could learn everything about the real estate business.

And finally, the pièce de résistance, the one who finally realized they’d paid $35,000 for books:

I feel the Donald Trump school scammed good and honest people in believing the school would help them in the Real Estate business. For my $35,000+ all I got was books that I could have gotten from the library that could guide me better then Trump’s class did. I just want my $35,000+ money back. I feel embarrass[ed] and very dumb for falling for Donald Trump so call real estate classes. —- Additional Comments: If I can be refunded my money back, I would appreciate just that, thank you.

For a quick flashback, here’s an official introduction video used by Trump University back in the day:

[h/t Gizmodo]
[Image via screengrab]

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