As President, Trump Has Paid $27M In Settlements For Fraud And Charity Abuse
One might be tempted to believe that President Donald Trump takes serious issue with fraud and corruption, given his 2016 campaign mantra, “drain the swamp,” and his claim that allowing more Americans to vote from home will lead to rampant voter fraud.
But as President of the United States, Trump himself has paid out $27 million in legal settlements related to fraud and corruption — and there is another lawsuit waiting in the wings.
- NBC News reported in 2018 that “A federal court approved a $25 million settlement on Tuesday with students who said they were duped by Donald Trump and his now-defunct Trump University, which promised to teach them the ‘secrets of success’ in the real estate industry.”
- Students of Trump University, which was open from 2005 to 2010, alleged that the school used false advertising and other malicious methods “to lure them to free investor workshops at which they were sold expensive seminars and told they would be mentored by real estate gurus, leading to the loss of thousands of dollars in tuition.”
- Trump reportedly paid the $25 million in January 2017, but “it was held in escrow until the court upheld the settlement.”
- In 2019, The New York Times reported that Trump “paid $2 million to eight charities as part of a settlement in which the president admitted he misused funds raised by the Donald J. Trump Foundation to promote his presidential bid and pay off business debts.”
- By the end of the case, Trump “admitted in court documents that he had used the foundation to settle legal obligations of his businesses and even to purchase a portrait of himself,” The Times reported.
- The president’s misuse included using foundation money to settle obligations for some of his for-profit companies and giving “his presidential campaign control over about $2.8 million that the foundation had raised at a veterans fund-raiser in Iowa in January 2016.”
- These two cases give Trump a grand total of $27 million in payments for engaging in less-than-ethical behavior as a private citizen.
And while the president is busy warning of voter fraud, another lawsuit winding its way through the legal system alleges that Trump and three of his children, together with a multi-level-marketing company, promoted a get-rich-quick scheme.
- CNN reported in May that a federal judge allowed further proceedings in a lawsuit accusing the president, Donald Trump Jr, Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump of using Trump’s “former reality TV show ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ and other promotional events as vehicles to boost ACN Opportunity, a telecommunications marketing company linked to a nonprofit that used Trump's brand to appeal to teens.”
- The lawsuit alleges that the Trumps engaged in the promotion in exchange for “secret” payments.
- The Trumps are described as people looking "to enrich themselves by systematically defrauding economically marginalized people looking to invest in their educations, start their own small business, and pursue the American dream."