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Trump Is Still Making Money Off His Defunct University
Former students and law enforcement officials may call his school a fraud. But that’s not stopping The Donald from cashing in on it.
Donald Trump may be facing three separate lawsuits over his now-defunct university, but he’s still raking in money from the enterprise.
According to his 2016 personal financial disclosure form, filed with the Federal Election Commission, Trump made $13,239 in the last year from the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative LLC, the company formally known as Trump University LLC. In an earlier disclosure which he filed last summer when his presidential campaign was beginning, Trump reported earning $11,819 from the company, which held live seminars about earning money from real estate and online courses providing a path to riches.
It’s unclear why or how Trump made money from a business that has been defunct since 2011 and facing litigation since 2013. Alan Garten, executive vice president and general counsel of the Trump Organization, has not responded to a request for comment from The Daily Beast.
Trump is staring down three lawsuits which allege rampant fraud in his educational endeavor. Students claimed that they put money down to learn the tricks of the real estate trade from Donald Trump only to end up with cardboard cutouts of his figure.
One, a class-action suit in San Diego, has been delayed until November 28, which is after the presidential election. There will be a hearing for a second class action suit in San Diego on July 22. Finally a state fraud case, brought down by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, will also likely only go to trial after the election now.
On Tuesday, a four-judge panel in New York agreed to let Trump’s lawyers argue their case with the Court of Appeals, hoping to challenge a ruling that let Schneiderman progress with the case this year. Cases brought to this highest court in New York take a long time to resolve, likely stretching this suit beyond the timeframe of the presidential contest.
Even as Trump managed to dodge bullets—avoiding appearances on the witness stand during a crazy election year—Schneiderman has made it clear that he intends to pursue Trump vigorously.
“I am very pleased the judge has indicated her intention to move as expeditiously as possible to trial, as thousands of Mr. Trump’s alleged victims have been waiting years for relief from his fraud,” Schneiderman said in a previous statement provided to The Daily Beast. “As we will prove in court, Donald Trump and his sham for-profit college defrauded thousands of students out of millions of dollars.”
And it’s still lining Trump’s pockets, apparently.
Overall, Trump said that his revenue grew by $190 million over the past 17 months, and that he had $557 million in earned income. Ironically, the personal financial disclosure indicates that Trump has investments in a number of companies he has publicly railed against at his rallies, including Ford Motor Co. and Apple Inc., which he wanted to boycott.
There are also a series of new LLC’s with names of foreign cities—likely for new international hotel projects—in places like Saudi Arabia, from whom Trump wanted to halt oil purchases. Not to mention that whole suggestion he made that the country was responsible for 9/11.
“Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis, it was Saudi—take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents,” Trump said in February.
Trump has still not released his tax returns, which could address more questions about his personal finances. But as he marches toward the nomination, it appears that business is boomin’.