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Lawsuit: Trump Tricked People into Investing in ‘Get-Rich-Quick Schemes’ When They Were Down and Out


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The latest lawsuit filed against President Donald Trump claims that he, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump and the Trump Organization ran a “racketeering enterprise” that has preyed on vulnerable people who were down and out, getting them to invest in “get-rich-quick schemes” that simply never panned out.

The lawsuit was filed on Monday in federal court, according to the New York Times, and is being funded by the Tesseract Research Center, a group with a chairman in Morris Pearl who has donated to Democratic candidates. Pearl has elsewhere been identified in bios on the internet as the “Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires, a group of hundreds of high-net-worth Americans who are committed to making all Americans, including themselves, better off by building a more prosperous, stable, and inclusive nation.”

The complaint itself is a whopping 160-plus pages long. If you care to read it all, knock yourself out. It is available to read in full below.

The plaintiffs, represented by Roberta Kaplan and Andrew Celli Jr., have been identified only as Jane Doe, Luke Loe, Richard Roe, and Mary Moe. The complaint alleges that Trump, et al. “conned each of these victims into giving up hundreds or thousands of dollars” while they were down and out to invest in telecoms marketing company American Communications Network (ACN).

It’s alleged that the Trump family received “secret payments” to promote opportunities that weren’t real, and that the plaintiffs experienced the consequences firsthand. The defendants are accused of “knowingly” making “false and misleading statements” about these opportunities. The way it worked, the plaintiffs claim, is that Trump used his name (perceived brand success) and the promise of similar success to endorse opportunities with ACN, convincing plaintiffs to invest “$499 to sign up to sell [ACN] products, like a videophone and other services, with the promise of additional profits if they recruited others to join.”

All of this happened, they claim, as Trump, et al. never revealed that he was being paid millions to endorse ACN. Jane Doe, for example, allegedly spent thousands to participate in ACN and learn entrepreneurial secrets, only to earn a whopping $38.

It’s alleged that this “scheme” took place from 2005-2015, and that Trump claimed his endorsement of ACN was “not for any money.”

In total, plaintiffs allege eight counts against Trump: negligent misrepresentation, fraud, unfair and deceptive acts or practices in violation of Pennsylvania law, unfair and deceptive trade practices in violation of Maryland law, unfair competition in violation of California law, dissemination of untrue or misleading public statements in violation of California law, conspiracy to conduct the affairs of a racketeering enterprise, and racketeering.

Complaint Filed Against President Trump by Law&Crime on Scribd

[Image via Alex Wong/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.