In a new lawsuit filed Monday, President Donald Trump and his three eldest children are accused of scamming investors into participating in fraudulent schemes and thus making millions of their Trump brand.
The class-action lawsuit, filed on behalf of four anonymous individuals, claims that Eric, Donald Jr. and Ivanka Trump along with their father promoted so-called promising business opportunities with three companies in exchange for “secret” payments.
According to the 160-page suit, the President and his children “deliberately misled” consumers about the possible success of their investments. It also maintains they further engaged in “racketeering” activities and knew that most of the investors “would lose whatever money they invested in the business opportunities and training programs” offered by the three companies in question – ACN Opportunity, the Trump Network, and the Trump Institute.
The lawyers representing the plaintiffs said through a spokesman that the lawsuit is being funded by a nonprofit with ties to Democratic candidates, CNN informs.
Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization said in response to the lawsuit that it was “completely meritless” and seized on the Democratic affiliations of the plaintiff’s lawyers and the nonprofit funding it, the Tesseract Research Center.
“This is clearly just another effort by opponents of the President to use the court system to advance a political agenda,” Garten said in a statement. “The motivations here are as plain as day.”
The comments immediately provoked a response, with the spokesman for the plaintiffs’ legal team saying that regardless of when the lawsuit was filed the Trump Organization would claim it was politically motivated.
“We did a thorough investigation and a lot of legal research, and the plaintiffs are eager to file,” he said, pointing out that the case was filed Monday “because it is ready now.”
This is not the first time that Trump has faced such a lawsuit. Namely, only days after the 2016 election, he settled three suits which said Trump University purported to reveal his business secrets to students, but instead featured false advertisements and never delivered on its claims.
The Monday lawsuit claims that just like in that case, the Trump brand and the apparent endorsement from the President himself were critical in luring unsuspecting investors to the sham companies he promoted.
“Indeed, for the working people who fell prey to the Investments, the Trump endorsement was typically the first thing they learned about the Investments, the reason they took an interest, and the determining factor in their decision to invest,” the lawsuit reads.