New allegations suggest that Trump may have persuaded struggling Americans to invest in several business scams.
A new lawsuit accuses Trump, his company, and three of his children of using the Trump name to entice vulnerable people to invest in scam business opportunities that will help line their pockets. Filed in federal court in Manhattan, the 160-page complaint alleges that Trump and his family received secret payments from three business organizations and identities in exchange for advertising them as legitimate moneymaking opportunities, when in reality they were get-rich schemes that harmed their investors.
Vulnerable individuals who were interested in products endorsed by Trump and his family would then jump onto these opportunities thinking that they would be able to make a quick buck. Unfortunately, many of these companies were unsophisticated and struggled financially.
The business identities were ACN, a known telecommunications marketing company that paid Trump millions of dollars to endorse its products, the “Trump Network,” and the “Trump Institute.” Some of these products included vitamin marketing enterprises, with the suit described as offering “extravagantly priced multiday training seminars” on Trump’s real estate properties.
Four plaintiffs depict the Trump Organization as an enterprise that defrauded thousands of people for years as the president turned from construction to licensing his name for profit. He monetized his cult personality, and the lawsuit is taking aim at the narrative that Trump is a self-made billionaire. The suit also names Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump as defendants.
This lawsuit comes on the heels of a sweeping new investigation published by the New York Times exposing the lie that Trump received a “small loan” of $1 million and was able to build an empire with it. The investigation actually notes that Trump’s father, Fred Trump, actually lent his son at least $60.7 million — which would be worth about $140 million in today’s money.