Donald “Never Settle” Trump Settles University Lawsuit

Donald Trump has agreed to a $25 million settlement to end the fraud cases against his now-defunct Trump University, New York’s attorney general said — a move that the president-elect said Saturday was done in order to “focus on the country.”

The settlement likely means that Trump will avoid becoming possibly the first sitting president to testify in open court.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called the settlement on Friday “a major victory for the over 6,000 victims of his fraudulent university.” Lawyers involved in the cases say the settlement applies to all three lawsuits against Trump University including two cases filed in California.

Trump commented on the settlement via Twitter on Saturday, telling his 15 million followers that the only “bad thing about winning the presidency” was not being able to fight the “long but winning” Trump University trial.

(h/t NBC News)


Remember this?

And this?

And this?



Trump Violated Political Donation Rules With Bribe to Florida Attorney General

Donald Trump paid a $2,500 fine to the IRS this year after it was discovered that the mogul’s namesake charity had illegally made a $25,000 political contribution, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

The Donald J. Trump Foundation gave the money to a group called “Justice for All,” which was supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s campaign. At the time, Bondi was weighing whether to pursue an investigation into allegations of fraud that had been leveled against Trump University. She eventually declined to bring charges.

The Post had discovered that in their 2013 tax filings, the charity did not list the contribution to the Florida group, but instead showed a $25,000 contribution to a charity in Kansas with a similar name — which it never made.

The Trump foundation also answered no when the form asked if it had made any political contributions that year.

“It was just an honest mistake,” Jeffrey McConney, a senior vice president at the Trump Organization, told the Post. “It wasn’t done intentionally to hide a political donation, it was just an error.”

Trump later reimbursed his foundation for the contribution out of his personal account, which his employees say is more typically used to make such political donations.

(h/t The Hill)


On Sept. 14, 2013, the Sentinel quoted a spokeswoman for Bondi who said that Florida’s attorney general was studying the New York lawsuit to see whether she wanted to take action in Florida as well.

Three days later, on Sept. 17, 2013, Trump’s foundation cut a $25,000 check to a committee associated with Bondi’s campaign. It was one of the largest checks that her “And Justice for All” PAC had received.

Bondi soon dropped her investigation, citing insufficient grounds to proceed.

This was clearly a bribe.

Trump’s ‘Great’ Memory Draws Fire in Trump University Deposition

Trump University logo

During sworn testimony in the Trump University lawsuit, Donald Trump repeatedly said he couldn’t recall specific claims, documents or events related to the case, prompting a lawyer for the plaintiffs to ask if the real estate mogul considered himself to have “one of the best memories in the world.”

In response, Trump said he thinks he has a “good” or a “great” memory, but doesn’t recall claiming it’s one of the world’s best, according to hours of previously unreleased testimony in which Trump was questioned by the plaintiffs’ lawyer Jason Forge.

“So you don’t remember saying that you have one of the best memories in the world?” Forge asked.

“I remember you telling me, but I don’t know that I said it,” Trump replied.

Three weeks earlier, during a conversation about 9/11 with NBC News reporter Katy Tur, Trump had said he had “the world’s best memory,” Tur reported.

The transcript of the testimony was filed in court Wednesday night, as lawyers and media organizations continue their battle over how much of the lawsuit should be available to the public.

The documents provide the fullest picture yet of Trump’s lengthy depositions: Heated, drawn-out sessions tackling Trump’s business practices, the time he called the plaintiff’s lawyers “scam artists” and the questions about Trump’s memory. For his part, Trump repeatedly defended Trump University, saying it was an opportunity to pass on his business expertise to people who need it but said he had little to do with day-to-day operations.

A coalition of news organizations is meanwhile pushing for Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over the case, to order the release of videos of the depositions on the grounds that the Trump University lawsuit is a key issue in the presidential campaign and is illuminating about Trump himself. Two of them took place while Trump was on the campaign trail: One deposition was in December 2015 in New York, and another happened in January 2016, hours before holding a rally in Las Vegas.

The lawyers addressed sprawling questions about Trump’s business practices and his involvement with Trump University, the real estate seminars that plantiffs in the California class-action lawsuit claim charged up to $35,000 but didn’t teach them useful business practices. At one point in 2012, Trump threatened to counter with a lawsuit against the plaintiffs and the lawyer questioning him. He also asked if one of the lawyers could please “not lick [her] finger” before handing him documents to look at.

“Would that be OK? It’s disgusting,” Trump said.

Later, Forge, the plaintiff’s lawyers, asked Trump directly about Trump telling Time magazine in 2015 that they are “known scam artists.” Trump said he was talking about Mel Weiss, a class-action lawyer who went to prison for taking illegal kickbacks, and his business partner, who helped start the firm now representing plaintiffs in the Trump University case.

“I knew Mel Weiss. I considered him to be a scam artist,” Trump told Forge. “I don’t know you.”

Trump also defended a Trump University employee who cursed during his presentations.

While it’s not the behavior he would want from his Trump U instructors, “I’ve used foul language,” Trump said. “Sometimes you do it for emphasis. I’ve used some very bad words.”

Forge questioned Trump about claims made by a Trump University instructor who told students that he had met and had dinner with Trump when he hadn’t. Trump said it was an innocent exaggeration.

“A lot of people say they met with me and they were with me and all of that stuff. It happens all the time. I think it’s hyperbole,” Trump said. Students liked Trump University courses, and the main issue is how well the instructors taught, Trump said.

“It would be false for me to say that you and I had breakfast together this morning; right?” Forge asked.

“Yes, it’s sort of false. It would depend on how you meant it, how you said it,” Trump replied. “We sort of had lunch together.”

(h/t Politico)

Former Texas official says he was told to drop Trump University probe

Trump University logo

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton moved to muzzle a former state regulator who says he was ordered in 2010 to drop a fraud investigation into Trump University for political reasons.

Paxton’s office issued a cease and desist letter to former Deputy Chief of Consumer Protection John Owens after he made public copies of a 14-page internal summary of the state’s case against Donald Trump for scamming millions from students of his now-defunct real estate seminar.

Owens, now retired, said his team had built a solid case against the now-presumptive Republican presidential nominee, but was told to drop it after Trump’s company agreed to cease operations in Texas.

The former state regulator told The Associated Press on Friday that decision was highly unusual and left the bilked students on their own to attempt to recover their tuition money from the celebrity businessman.

Trump University is the target of two lawsuits in San Diego and one in New York that accuse the business of fleecing students with unfulfilled promises to teach secrets of success in real estate.

A federal judge overseeing one of the class action suits unsealed documents in the case earlier this week, then ordered some of those records to be withdrawn from public view, saying they had “mistakenly” been released.

Trump has personally attacked U.S. District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel as “a hater of Donald Trump,” claiming he is biased against Trump because of his Hispanic heritage.

“We’re in front of a very hostile judge,” Trump told a crowd in San Diego on May 27. “The judge was appointed by Barack Obama, federal judge. Frankly, he should recuse himself because he’s given us ruling after ruling after ruling, negative, negative, negative.”

“What happens is the judge, who happens to be — we believe — Mexican. Which is great. I think that’s fine,” he said. “You know what? I think the Mexicans are going to end up loving Donald Trump when I give all these jobs, OK?”

Curiel was born in East Chicago, Indiana. Curiel’s parents, however, are Mexican, according to a 2002 New York Times report of the judge’s work in the Southern District of California’s narcotics enforcement division.

Despite the lawsuits, the presumptive GOP nominee said Thursday he plans to reopen Trump University once the legal cases are resolved.

As CBS News reported in September, Trump University closed not because of litigation, but because students were not signing up for its Gold elite mentoring program that cost $35,000. The university, as a result, could no longer afford to fulfill its commitments to the students who had already paid.

A June 2010 memo from Trump University said the program was facing “significant operations risk” and it closed a month later. A former employee told CBS News that the program was “run into the ground.”

According to the documents provided by Owens, his team sought to sue Trump, his company and several business associates to help recover more than $2.6 million students spent on seminars and materials, plus another $2.8 million in penalties and fees.

Owens said he was so surprised at the order to stand down he made a copy of the case file and took it home.

“It had to be political in my mind because Donald Trump was treated differently than any other similarly situated scam artist in the 16 years I was at the consumer protection office,” said Owens, who lives in Houston.

Owens’ boss at the time was then-Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is now the state’s GOP governor.

The Associated Press first reported Thursday that Trump gave donations totaling $35,000 to Abbott’s gubernatorial campaign three years after his office closed the Trump U case. Several Texas media outlets then reported Owens’ accusation that the probe was dropped for political reasons.

Abbott spokesman Matt Hirsch said Friday that the governor had played no role in ending the case against Trump, a decision he said was made farther down the chain of command.

“The Texas Attorney General’s office investigated Trump U, and its demands were met – Trump U was forced out of Texas and consumers were protected,” Hirsch said. “It’s absurd to suggest any connection between a case that has been closed and a donation to Governor Abbott three years later.”

Paxton issued a media release about the cease and desist later Friday, saying Owens had divulged “confidential and privileged information.”

Owens first learned about the state’s action against him on Friday afternoon when contacted by the AP for response.

“I have done nothing illegal or unethical,” said Owens, a lawyer. “I think the information I provided to the press was important and needed to be shared with the public.”

Paxton faces his own legal trouble. He was indicted last year on three felony fraud charges alleging that he persuaded people to invest in a North Texas tech startup while failing to disclose that he hadn’t invested himself but was being paid by the company in stock. Paxton has remained in office while appealing the charges.

Texas was not the only GOP-led state to shy away from suing Trump.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi briefly considered joining a multi-state suit against Trump U. Three days after Bondi’s spokeswoman was quoted in local media reports as saying her office was investigating, Trump’s family foundation made a $25,000 contribution to a political fundraising committee supporting Bondi’s re-election campaign.

Bondi, a Republican, soon dropped her investigation, citing insufficient grounds to proceed.

In New York, meanwhile, Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued Trump over what he called a “straight-up fraud.” That case, along with several class-action lawsuits filed by former Trump students, is still ongoing.

(h/t CBS News)


At the first Republican debate, Donald Trump admitted to buying politicians for favors at the very first Republican primary debate in August 2015.

Trump: Mexican American Judge Has an ‘Absolute Conflict’

Trump University logo

Was Donald Trump’s racist suggestion last week that Judge Gonzalo Curiel, an American of Mexican descent, could not fairly preside over a lawsuit about so-called Trump University simply an off-the-cuff remark? If so, Trump seems to have decided to go with it. The Wall Street Journal reports:

In an interview, Mr. Trump said U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel had “an absolute conflict” in presiding over the litigation given that he was “of Mexican heritage” and a member of a Latino lawyers’ association. Mr. Trump said the background of the judge, who was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrants, was relevant because of his campaign stance against illegal immigration and his pledge to seal the southern U.S. border. “I’m building a wall. It’s an inherent conflict of interest,” Mr. Trump said.

Perhaps one reason Trump lashed out at Curiel once more was the release of documents from the case on Tuesday, which painted Trump University in an unflattering light.

(h/t The Atlantic)


Donald Trump’s claim that a person can not perform their job for the singular reason because their heritage is a textbook example of a racist quote.

The Republican candidate’s insistence that Gonzalo Curiel cannot preside impartially simply because of his ethnic heritage flies in the face of established precedent. Trump’s claim is irrelevant, as ethnicity plays no apparent role in the Trump University case. His argument also sits in uncomfortable contradiction to his prior claims that “the Latinos love me.”

Trump’s statement is troubling for a variety of reasons. Curiel was born in Indiana to parents who had immigrated from Mexico, and Trump has referred to Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and criminals. But the case at hand involves an allegedly fraudulent series of real-estate seminars Trump set up—in other words, it has nothing to do with ethnicity whatsoever. He has discovered that by grossly insulting a group to which a judge (sort of) belongs, he can then argue that the judge is tainted. As Peter Beinart of The Atlantic, among other observers, has pointed out, Trump’s demand that an unblemished judge step down from the case amounts to an attack on the independence of the American judiciary.

(Editor’s Note: Today is a short day so the ‘reality’ section is from our cited source and not our own.)

Trump Campaign Releases a Video Defending Trump University… That is Itself a Scam

Former students put forward by Donald Trump’s campaign to help deflect criticism of his defunct real estate seminars have business ties to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

The campaign posted a web video Wednesday defending Trump University after a federal judge unsealed documents in a long-running lawsuit filed by ex-students who claim they were fleeced. The seminars ended in 2011 amid a flurry of complaints and state fraud investigations.

“The students on this video are representative of the many students who were overwhelmingly satisfied with Trump University,” the campaign said. “Rather than listen to the media spin, listen to the hard-working students who can attest first-hand to the truth about Trump University.”

(h/t Fortune, Red State)


As we detailed before, Trump University was a massive scam.

This video features three people – none of whom have ever bought or sold real estate for a living. One of them appears to be a professional testimonial-giver for seminars, one appears to give these kinds of seminars for himself, and one of them has an ongoing business and personal relationship with the Trump family, who have allowed him to sell his protein water on a number of their properties.

These are the three people they found, out of the 40,000 people who (allegedly) came through Trump University who could talk about their great experiences.

Notably, not one of these people is currently in the business of buying or selling real estate, or can offer any proof that Trump University made them successful in this endeavor, which is what it was designed to do.

Contrast this with the thousands involved in class-action lawsuits against the now-defunct university.

Michelle Gunn

The first woman featured in the video, one Michelle Gunn, appears to be a professional testimonial giver for these self-help workshop scams:

Not mentioned by the campaign is that the celebrity billionaire previously endorsed a self-help book authored by Gunn’s teenage son, titled “Schooled for Success: How I Plan to Graduate from High School a Millionaire.” A website promoting the book also features a photo of a smiling Houston Gunn posing with Trump in what appears to be the then reality TV star’s Trump Tower office.

Casey Hoban

Casey Hoban, a Connecticut bottled-water entrepreneur who said he earned “incalculable” profits on real estate deals after attending one of Trump’s two-day courses about a decade ago.

Not disclosed by the campaign is that Hoban is also a Trump family acquaintance whose protein-infused water is stocked at some of Trump’s golf courses, restaurants and resorts.

Hoban told The Associated Press that his business relationship with the Trump organization bloomed after he attended a charity event held last year held by a Trump family foundation. Trump’s son Eric Trump later tweeted Hoban a personal thank you for his $25,000 donation.

That largesse led to an invitation for Hoban and his family to visit Trump Tower last year for a personal tour of campaign headquarters, where they posed smiling for a photo holding Trump for President placards.

Hoban told the AP that he had only met the Trumps a couple of times and that his budding business relationship with the Trump empire had nothing to do with his offer to the campaign to issue a public endorsement of Trump U.

“Absolutely not, from the bottom of my heart,” Hoban said. “I offered to support Trump University because I did some amazing investments after going to that class. I thought it was a way to tell the world that after going to that class at Trump University I prospered.”

Kent Moyer

Kent Moyer is not in real estate at all, as his rather detailed website attests. Rather, he seems himself to be involved primarily in selling the kind of “coaching” and “seminars” that are pretty similar on their face to Trump University. Kent Moyer, per his bio, appears to have gone to Wharton.

However upon questioning by AP, Moyer clarified that he had attended two-week executive seminars offered by Wharton and had never been academically enrolled as a student at the university. He does not have a bachelor’s degree.

Even if people find real value in the consulting services that Mr. Moyer provides, he by his own admission has never actually made money selling real estate, which is what Trump University is supposed to teach you how to do.

He is a former Playboy Mansion bodyguard who founded a Beverly Hills, California-based company that specializes in providing security to the wealthy and famous.

Moyer told the AP that he does not recall ever personally meeting Trump, but said he has long admired the flashy businessman. He said he reached out to Trump’s lawyers after reading about class-action lawsuits alleging the program was a scam posing as a real academic institution.

“I had nothing but a great experience with Trump University,” Moyer said. “Everyone knew it wasn’t a real university. … What the video doesn’t talk about is that because of Trump University I ultimately enrolled in 2007 in the Wharton Business School.”

Moyer has often described himself in media appearances and in written materials as an alumnus of the prestigious business school at the University of Pennsylvania, of which Trump and some of his children are graduates.

(Editor’s Note: It’s a short day today so this ‘reality’ section was pieced together from the cited articles and is not our own.)

Trump University ‘Playbooks’ Offer Glimpse of Ruthless Business Practices

Trump University logo

A federal judge has given the world an unprecedented glimpse into the ruthless business practices Donald Trump used to build his business empire.

US district court judge Gonzalo Curiel on Tuesday made public more than 400 pages of Trump University “playbooks” describing how Trump staff should target prospective students’ weaknesses to encourage them to sign up for a $34,995 Gold Elite three-day package.

Trump University staff were instructed to get people to pile on credit card debt and to target their financial weaknesses in an attempt to sell them the high-priced real estate courses.

The documents contained an undated “personal message” from Trump to new enrollees at the school:

Only doers get rich. I know that in these three packed days, you will learn everything to make a million dollars within the next 12 months.

The courses are now subject to legal proceedings from unhappy clients.

Judge Curiel released the documents, which are central to a class-action lawsuit against Trump University in California, despite sustaining repeated public attacks from Trump, who had fought to keep the details secret.

Curiel ruled that the documents were in the public interest now that Trump is “the front-runner in the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential race, and has placed the integrity of these court proceedings at issue”.

Trump hit back calling Curiel a “hater”, a “total disgrace” and “biased”. “I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump. A hater. He’s a hater,” Trump said at a rally near the courthouse in San Diego. “His name is Gonzalo Curiel. And he is not doing the right thing … [He] happens to be, we believe, Mexican.

Curiel, who is Hispanic, is American and was born in Indiana.

Trump went on to attack Curiel further on Twitter on Monday and at a press conference in New York on Monday.

The playbook contains strict guidelines on dealing with media. Team members were prohibited from speaking with the media and instructed to contact other officials with the organization.

  • Reporters are rarely on your side and not sympathetic.
  • No matter how much confidence you have in Trump University, you should not say anything.

In addition to the media tips, the playbooks also contain instructions under the heading of “Attorney General.” It gives the name of a Trump University employee to contact if an Attorney General arrives on the scene.

By law, you do not have to show them any personal information unless they present a warrant; however you are expected to be courteous.

Instructing employees how to stall law enforcement investigations might seem like an unusual part of running a real estate seminar company. But at Trump University — which drew investigations by Democratic and Republican attorneys general alike — it was par for the course.

The playbook also contains long sections telling Trump U team members how to identify buyers and push them to sign up for the most expensive package, and to put the cost on their credit cards. The document states:

If they can afford the gold elite don’t allow them to think about doing anything besides the gold elite.

If potential students hesitate, teachers are told to read this script.

As one of your mentors for the last three days, it’s time for me to push you out of your comfort zone. It’s time for you to be 100% honest with yourself. You’ve had your entire adult life to accomplish your financial goals. I’m looking at your profile and you’re not even close to where you need to be, much less where you want to be. It’s time you fix your broken plan, bring in Mr. Trump’s top instructors and certified millionaire mentors and allow us to put you and keep you on the right track. Your plan is BROKEN and WE WILL help you fix it. Remember you have to be 100% honest with yourself!

Trump University staff are instructed in how to persuade students to put the cost of the course on their credit cards, even if they have just battled to pay off debts.

Do you like living paycheck to paycheck? … Do you enjoy seeing everyone else but yourself in their dream houses and driving their dreams cars with huge checking accounts? Those people saw an opportunity, and didn’t make excuses, like what you’re doing now.

Trump staff are told to spend lunch breaks in sign-up seminars “planting seeds” in potential students minds about how their lives won’t improve unless they join the programme. They are also told to ask students personal questions to discover weaknesses that could be exploited to help seal the deal.

Collect personalized information that you can utilize during closing time. (For example: are they a single parent of three children that may need money for food? Or are they a middle-aged commuter that is tired of traveling for 2 hours to work each day?)

New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman, who has also sued Trump University, renewed his attacks on Trump on Tuesday. “You are not allowed to protect the trade secrets of a three-card Monte game,” Schneiderman said ahead of the document’s release. “If you look at the facts of this case, this shows someone who was absolutely shameless in his willingness to lie to people, to say whatever it took to induce them into his phony seminars,” Schneiderman said.

(h/t The Guardian, Los Angeles Times)


As we’ve reviewed before, Trump University was a massive scam.


The Trump University Playbook.

Trump Attacks ‘Mexican’ Judge in Trump University Lawsuit

Trump University logo

Over the course of 12 minutes, Donald Trump used a campaign rally in San Diego on Friday night to lace into the judge overseeing a lawsuit over Trump University, calling him a “hater” and speculating about his ethnicity.

“The trial is going to take place sometime in November. There should be no trial. This should have been dismissed on summary judgment easily,” Trump said. “Everybody says it, but I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He’s a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel.”

“I’ll be seeing you in November, either as president…” Trump said, trailing off. “I think Judge Curiel should be ashamed of himself. I think it’s a disgrace that he’s doing this.” Trump brought up Curiel’s ethnicity: “The judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican…I think the Mexicans are going to end up loving Donald Trump.”

Several lawsuits — two in federal court in San Diego and one in state court in New York — allege that Trump’s now-defunct real estate school, Trump University, made false claims about instructors’ experience. Trump has already acknowledged in a deposition that he did not hand-pick the teachers, as marketing materials claimed, though he insists the program was valuable.

“They actually did a very good job, but I’ve won most of the lawsuits,” he said during a GOP debate in February.

Since then, Trump has repeatedly attacked Curiel and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, claiming the former is “Spanish” and the latter is out to get him for electoral gain.

At Friday night’s rally, he got more specific, telling the crowd he believes Curiel — who was born in the United States — is Mexican.

“The judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great, I think that’s fine,” Trump said, according to the LA Times. “You know what? I think the Mexicans are going to end up loving Donald Trump when I give all these jobs, OK?”

(h/t Politico)


As we investigated before, Trump University was a massive scam.

Curiel, who was appointed to the U.S. District Court in November 2011 by President Barack Obama, previously served as a Superior Court judge in San Diego and, for 17 years prior to that, as a federal prosecutor. He was born in East Chicago in 1953 and earned his J.D. in 1979 from the Indiana University School of Law. From 1999-2002, Curiel headed the Narcotics Enforcement Division for the Southern District of California, where he prosecuted drug smugglers working across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Earlier this month, Curiel delayed the start of trial proceedings until November.


A Trump University Book Includes Tax Avoidance Strategies

Trump University logo

Donald Trump’s opponents have posited no shortage of theories for why the New York billionaire would be wary of releasing his tax returns. High on the list? The likely use of extensive tax avoidance strategies.

None other than Trump University — the now-defunct education company named after the tycoon — heartily touts a book explicitly designed to help people do just that: avoid taxes.

The book, “Asset Protection 101: Tax and Legal Strategies of the Rich,” lays out in extensive detail strategies to keep the U.S. government away from the readers’ assets. It minces no words on its intent, at one point telling readers “the topic of asset protection is amazing, cunning, baffling, powerful and tricky.”

Trump wrote the foreward to the book, which was authored by attorney J.J. Childers and published in 2007 under the Trump University banner — part of a series of books promoted as “practical, straightforward primers on the basics of doing business the Trump way — successfully.”

“If you’re not satisfied with the status quo in your career, read this book, pick one key idea and implement it. I guarantee it will make you money,” the presumptive Republican nominee wrote in his foreword.

Trump touts the book — and the others in the Trump University series — as a recipe to riches, calling the contents “the most important and powerful ideas in business — the same concepts taught in the most respected MBA curricula and used by the most successful companies in the world, including The Trump Organization.”

“I created Trump University to give motivated business-people the skills required to achieve lasting success,” Trump wrote.

Asked about the book and Trump’s personal strategies on tax avoidance, Trump’s spokeswoman Hope Hicks pointed to Trump’s tax plan, which is posted on the campaign’s website. As to Trump’s returns themselves, Hicks reiterated that Trump “is undergoing a routine audit and plans to release the returns when the audit is complete.”

The IRS has corrected this false claim: “Federal privacy rules prohibit the IRS from discussing individual tax matters. Nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information.”

The book itself is an in-the-weeds breakdown of strategies to shield income and property from the Internal Revenue Service. With sections including “Tax Secrets of the Wealthy,” “Lawsuit Protection Secrets of the Wealthy” and “Estate and Retirement Planning Secrets of the Wealth,” it’s composed of the ins-and-outs of how, in its words, readers can set themselves up to “pay as little tax as legally possible.”

In short, it’s a certified public accountant’s dream manual.

Or, as the book puts it:

These strategies are one of the primary reasons why people make statements such as, “the rich just keep getting richer.” It’s true. The difference between the rich and others is that the rich take the time to learn the system. Others simply sit around and complain about the system. If you feel like the rules of the game discriminate against one group or another, you’re right. Businesses get far more in deductions than do individuals. If you don’t like the treatment that you’re getting as an individual, it’s time for you to get down to business. You can do that by starting a business so that you can take advantage of the tax secrets of the wealthy.


Get your head around reality

The rich have an army of lawyers and accountants solely focused on taxes. Those lawyers and accountants are paid very well to make sure the rich find as many loopholes as possible to shield their cash and property. And with good reason, according to the book:

Asset protection is the foundation of all wealth building; you must understand it if you are ever to join the ranks of the financial elite.

Prepare for combat

Those lawyers and accountants are there for a reason — to fight. And that, according to the book, is the attitude needed to truly take advantage of a tax code riddled with loopholes. Just remember: do it legally.

If you plan on becoming (or staying) wealthy you must learn to legally combat your tax bill.


Maybe worse than the IRS: While the government is certainly Enemy No. 1 in the book, lawsuits — the kind that can threaten accumulated wealth — come in a close second.

Putting your assets in a position that will leave them untouched by litigation is crucial.

Entire family futures have been put in jeopardy. The worst part is that these lawsuits often could have been avoided with a few simple preventative measures.

Shield your retirement

Or the government will take it: The book goes into great detail on how to structure your savings in a way that will shelter them from future taxes, fees or expenses.

Wealthy families in this country take estate planning seriously because they know how bad government intervention can be. You must adopt this mentality.

Don’t be afraid of the IRS

While the U.S. government certainly isn’t revered in the book, it also goes to great lengths to make clear that readers shouldn’t be afraid. Instead, the convoluted tax code provides a series of advantages — the kinds that should be taken advantage of.

The fact is, you don’t have to be scared of the IRS. Americans have every right — some would say a duty — to pay as little tax as possible.

A business can be one hell of a tax shelter

The chapter titled “The Greatest Tax Shelter in the World: Owning Your Own Business” includes a section on breaks known as like-kind exchanges, or the use of “1031,” as it’s often called, for the section of the tax code where it resides. Use of such strategies is so valuable, it’s a shock they’re legal, according to one passage in the book:

Would you be interested in avoiding paying the tax on the sale of your property completely while maintaining or even increasing your overall net worth? Of course, any wise investor would. Amazingly, this can indeed happen and even better, it is totally legal.

The break allows real estate owners to sell a piece of property and avoid taxes on any capital gains by buying a new one shortly thereafter. Continued use of the break, which basically comes down to swapping properties, would result in deferred capital gains that, if deployed strategically — and repeatedly — by an active real estate investor, could completely avoid taxation.

The tax code is undoubtedly skewed toward easing burdens on small businesses. (Because seriously, what lawmaker is going to vote against a loophole that benefits small business?)

The best advice I can give to anyone looking to keep a larger percentage of their hard-earned money is to do what it takes to own your own business.

Real estate is king

In a passage that lines up rather nicely with Donald Trump’s primary line of business, the book makes clear that real estate — either through rental-income or through appreciation — is a great way to use the tax code to actually build wealth.

There are very few business opportunities that allow you to build wealth without paying taxes and then subsequently pay reduced rates when the time comes to settle up with Uncle Sam. Real estate, however, is a prime exception.

The book, citing Trump himself, makes clear that the tax code favors those in the real estate business. Between strategies like like-kind exchanges and cost segregation, real estate provides ample opportunity to take advantage of the tax code.

Embrace depreciation

Depreciation — the “mother of all tax deductions” could “potentially allow a business owner to deduct up to $108,000 of asset purchases while actually spending little to no money now.”

It’s all on you

Well, technically it’s not (see: lawyers, accountants.) But the key theme of the book is that the tax code is so riddled with loopholes that anyone who doesn’t take advantage is simply leaving money on the table.

As it concludes:

When all is said and done, you have a decision to make. You are the one responsible for what you do with what you’ve been presented. You can go on doing things the same old way, which would produce the same old results. Or you can do things the way millionaires do things.

(h/t CNN, CNN)


The book explains why the wealthy, who can afford the high-priced lawyers and accountants, are awesome and everyone else is just a sucker who has to pay their fair share in taxes.

Keep in mind all of these loopholes are 100% legal. What a sanctioned Trump book that brazenly mocks and highlights the separation between the haves and the have-nots shows is how he rarely looks out for the little guy. A common belief among Trump supporters.


Sample of ‘Asset Protection 101’ on Google Books

Trump is Going to Trial This Year in Trump University Fraud Case

Trump University logo

A federal judge in San Diego set the stage on Friday for what could be one of the strangest presidential transitions in history: He ordered that Donald Trump must go to trial starting Nov. 28 in a civil case in which he is accused of defrauding students who attended Trump University.

“No doubt this will be a challenge … we’re in unchartered waters,” said Daniel Petrocelli, Trump’s lead lawyer in the case, when asked later how his client — if elected in November — would be able to balance preparing to take over the presidency with taking the witness stand in a trial that could run almost until the eve of the following January’s inauguration.

But Petrocelli said Trump was fully prepared to testify and would even attend “most, if not all” of the trial in order to vindicate himself. “His preference would be to be here for the entirety of the trial,” Petrocelli said. “He believes this case is unwarranted and he wants to defend himself fully.”

The ruling today by U.S. Judge Gonzalo Curiel, during a pretrial conference on the six-year-old lawsuit, actually represented a small victory for Trump. The lawyers for the plaintiffs, arguing that “justice delayed is justice denied,” had asked for a trial to start as early as this summer — immediately after the Republican convention in Cleveland. “There are people who are still paying off their debts for the money they paid to Trump University,” said Jason Forge, a lead lawyer for the plaintiffs suing Trump.

Petrocelli, for his part, pushed back, contending that a trial over Trump University would end up becoming a media spectacle that would amount to an “unwarranted intrusion” on the November elections. He had asked that Curiel put the whole matter off until next February, after the inauguration, arguing that Trump, if elected, would be working “around the clock” during the transition to form a Cabinet. He acknowledged to Curiel that he was “fully aware” that a President Trump would not be able to postpone the case indefinitely, consistent with the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling that President Bill Clinton was not immune to a civil suit by Paula Jones, alleging sexual harassment.

Curiel decided to split the difference: In an effort to “accommodate” Trump’s political campaign, he agreed to put the trial off until after the election — but scheduled it right afterward, rather than “waiting for [a] President Trump to begin his first term,” thereby “placing him a situation where, as a sitting president, he is taking up time as leader of the free world” to sit through trial. (Anticipating difficulty in finding unbiased jurors, the judge said he may want to start jury selection even earlier than Nov. 28.)

But Trump may still find his legal troubles impinging on his campaign; he is facing a separate trial in New York state courts in a civil fraud suit, also stemming from the ill-fated Trump University, brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. (No trial date has been set on that case yet, but a spokesman for Schneiderman told Yahoo News that his office believes it could begin as early as this fall.)

The hearing today is the latest development in a case that has already erupted as a campaign issue and has threatened to shine a spotlight on Trump’s business practices — including his penchant for making hyperbolic claims to consumers — at the very moment he is trying to persuade voters he can deliver on his campaign pledges to end illegal immigration, destroy the Islamic State and balance the federal budget without touching entitlements like Social Security and Medicare.

The core case revolves around the operations of a school Trump launched in 2005 with a promotional YouTube video and ads that proclaimed, “I can turn anyone into a successful real estate investor, including you,” “Are you My Next Apprentice?” and “Learn from my handpicked experts how you can profit from the largest real estate liquidation in history.”

In fact, Trump University was never an accredited educational institution, and he was later forced by state attorneys general to change its name to the “Trump Entrepreneurial Initiative.” The plaintiffs, former students at Trump University, allege that Trump used “misleading, fraudulent and predatory practices,” conning them into maxing out their credit cards and in some cases paying more than $35,000 in fees for seminars and “mentoring” by Trump’s “handpicked” real estate experts. The lawsuit against the school, which is no longer in business, alleges that the seminars were little more than an “infomercial” and that the Trump mentors offered “no practical advice” and “mostly disappeared.”

One key issue in the case has been Trump’s boasts that the “courses” and “mentoring” would be conducted by the “best of the best” — real estate experts he personally chose. During a deposition last December, Forge hammered away at Trump on the issue, showing the businessman a photo lineup and playing videos of some of the instructors and asking him if he could identify any of them. Trump could not, at first saying it was “too many years” ago for him to recognize them and then finally admitting he didn’t actually know any of them. “I looked at résumés and things, but I didn’t pick the speakers,” Trump said at one point.

Trump’s lawyers have adamantly denied the charges and insisted that most students who took the courses were satisfied. On the campaign trial, Trump has vowed to never settle the case, claiming it was brought by a “sleazebag law firm” — a reference to Forge’s firm, Robbins Geller — and confidently predicted, “I will win the case at the end.” He has even criticized Judge Curiel, claiming he was biased against him because of his Hispanic origin. “If I didn’t have a hostile judge in California, this case would have ended years ago,” he said during a campaign rally in Arkansas last Feb. 26. (Trump had even suggested he might move for Curiel’s recusal, based on his Hispanic origin, but Petrocelli told reporters today he had no plans to file such a motion.)

The case has already eaten up Trump’s time on the campaign trail, forcing him to sit for two contentious last December and January in which he was grilled by Forge, prompting him to complaint at one point about “harassment” by the lawyer and to shoot back at another point, “Let’s just go to court and get this case — I’m dying to go to court in this case.”

It looks like he might be getting his wish.

(h/t Yahoo News)


As we investigated before, Trump University was a massive scam.

What will be interesting to note is how right-wing media will cover Donald Trump on trial for fraud compared to the Hillary Clinton email investigation. No need to imagine, here is the Wall Street Journal saying Donald is being set up while Hillary is a criminal.

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