President Donald Trump, his children and company will most likely face a class-action lawsuit in which individuals maintain that they were tricked into spending money on fraudulent multilevel marketing ventures.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield in Manhattan allowed the case to move forward with claims of fraud, unfair competition, and deceptive trade practices, Bloomberg reports. Her ruling, the outlet writes, could pave the way for plaintiffs to start collecting evidence from the President’s company, including documents and testimony. The judge dismissed federal racketeering claims, thus doing away with allegations that could have meant treble damages for the plaintiffs.
The four people suing Trump and his family claim that they swindled thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs by promoting two fake multilevel marketing ventures and the live-seminar program that falsely promised to reveal Trump’s “secret to success.” The group is seeking to sue on behalf of a nationwide class of people who they say were likewise cheated.
The four individuals used different names, wishing to remain anonymous because they fear exposure and potential retaliations the President’s supporters and by Trump himself, who has become known for his habit to publicly criticize opponents on Twitter. They were initially allowed to remain anonymous until the judge ruled on the Trumps’ motion to dismiss the case.
“We are pleased that the court has denied defendants’ motion to dismiss” the state-law claims, said Roberta Kaplan, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, adding that she was looking forward to obtaining “justice for the plaintiffs, and thousands of other working Americans just like them.”
A lawyer for the Trumps also said they were happy with Schofield’s decision, stressing that the racketeering claims “are baseless and should never have been brought.” Joanna Hendon, who represents the Trumps, said they “look forward to disposing with the rest of the case.”