A federal judge on Tuesday unsealed hundreds of pages of documents in a class action lawsuit against Trump University, revealing the craven moves the school founded by Donald Trump used to convince people to drop tens of thousands of dollars for seminars on the real estate business.
In testimony for the case, Ronald Schnackenberg, a former employee at the school tasked with selling courses, said he resigned in 2007 because he felt Trump University “was engaging in misleading, fraudulent, and dishonest conduct.”
“Based upon my personal experience and employment, I believe that Trump University was a fraudulent scheme, and that it preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money,” he said.
The “Playbooks” for sales employees at Trump University unsealed on Tuesday, along with testimony from former employees, show the aggressive tactics the school used to convince people to purchase courses.
Encouraged People To Max Out Credit Cards To Buy Courses
In testimony for the case, former employee Corinne Summer said that Trump University told people who felt they could not afford the seminars to simply max out their credit cards or open new credit cards in order to pay for the courses.
The playbooks given to Trump University representatives directed them to tell people that they will be able to quickly pay off any credit debt incurred purchasing courses with the money they make after learning about the real estate market.
Targeted People Struggling Financially
One of the playbooks encouraged representatives to collect personal information from people, such as single parents who need to feed their kids.
Used Instructors Without Significant Real Estate Experience
One former employee, Jason Nicholas, testified that while representatives talked up Donald Trump’s involvement and the expertise of the instructors, they were grossly exaggerating. Nicholas said that representatives told potential customers they would “work with Donald Trump’s real estate experts,” but Nicholas described the instructors as a “joke.”
“They were unqualified people posing as Donald Trump’s ‘right-hand men,'” he said.
Used Aggressive Language To Combat Potential Customers’ ‘Excuses’
The playbooks provided scripts for Trump University representatives to use in order to convince apprehensive people that the courses would change their life.
Encouraged Students To Borrow From Retirement Accounts
One playbook revealed that Trump University employees should encourage students to max out their credit cards or borrow from their retirement accounts in order to start making real estate investment deals.