Lawsuit Alleges Trump Made Millions Lending His Name To Shady Businesses
A lawsuit filed against President Donald Trump and members of his family was filed in federal court in Manhattan on Monday and alleges the president made millions by lending his name to endorse businesses and products that he knew were shady.
The 160-page complaint states that Trump, along with his daughter Ivanka and his two sons, Eric and Donald Jr., were paid millions of dollars in secret by three businesses in exchange for promoting those companies as legitimate ventures for customers or investors who didn’t know any better. The lawsuit suggests that these entities were get-quick-rich schemes that didn’t pan out, often to the detriment of those who believed Trump’s endorsements, according to reporting from the New York Times.
The three companies include: ACN, a telecommunications marketing organization that paid millions to Trump to endorse its products; the Trump Institute, which billed itself as offering “extravagantly priced multiday training seminars” detailing the “secrets” to Trump’s supposed success; and the Trump Network, a vitamin company.
The plaintiffs making these allegations are so far anonymous, and the lawyers representing them are hoping the court maintains their privacy due to the “serious and legitimate security concerns given the heated political environment.”
Some may question whether the timing of the complaint is political in nature, given the proximity in time to the upcoming midterm elections. The non-profit bringing forward the complaint on behalf of the plaintiffs is headed by an individual named Morris Pearl, who has made substantial donations to Democrats in the past.
— The Hill (@thehill) October 29, 2018
But the lawyers for the anonymous plaintiffs maintain that the timing of the case came about due to lengthy research on the matter, not because of the upcoming midterms.
“The case is being brought now because it is ready now,” their lawyers said.
This would not be the first time that Trump has been accused of defrauding others to invest or purchase products that were hyped up by his name. Shortly after he became president, Trump settled a class-action lawsuit that alleged his Trump University also made false promises to individuals who enrolled, according to reporting from CNN.