Showing posts with label Lawsuit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lawsuit. Show all posts

November 19, 2016

Trump Settles on Suit for Trump University Rip-Off $25 Million



 Trump with Secretary of State Bundi who refuse at the time to bring charges on the University scam


Donald J. Trump has reversed course and agreed on Friday to pay $25 million to settle a series of lawsuits stemming from his defunct for-profit education venture, Trump University, finally putting to rest fraud allegations by former students, which have dogged him for years and hampered his presidential campaign.

The settlement was announced by the New York attorney general just 10 days before one of the cases, a federal class-action lawsuit in San Diego, was set to be heard by a jury. The deal averts a potentially embarrassing and highly unusual predicament: a president-elect on trial, and possibly even taking the stand in his own defense, while scrambling to build his incoming administration.

It was a remarkable concession from a real estate mogul who derides legal settlements and has mocked fellow businessmen who agree to them.

But the allegations in the case were highly unpleasant for Mr. Trump: Students paid up to $35,000 in tuition for a programs that, according to the testimony of former Trump University employees, used high-pressure sales tactics and employed unqualified instructors.

The agreement wraps together the outstanding Trump University litigation, including two federal class-action cases in San Diego, and a separate lawsuit by Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York attorney general. The complaints alleged that students were cheated out of thousands of dollars in tuition through deceptive claims about what they would learn and high-pressure sales tactics.

“I am pleased that under the terms of this settlement, every victim will receive restitution and that Donald Trump will pay up to $1 million in penalties to the State of New York for violating state education laws,” Mr. Schneiderman said in a statement. “The victims of Trump University have waited years for today’s result, and I am pleased that their patience — and persistence — will be rewarded by this $25 million settlement.”

The settlement is a significant reversal from Mr. Trump, who had steadfastly rejected the allegations and vowed to fight the lawsuits, asserting that students filled out evaluations showing they were mostly happy with what they had learned in seminars. When political opponents pressed him on the claims during the campaign, Mr. Trump doubled down, saying he would eventually reopen Trump University.

“It’s something I could have settled many times,” Mr. Trump said during a debate in February. “I could settle it right now for very little money, but I don’t want to do it out of principle.”

He added, “The people that took the course all signed — most — many — many signed report cards saying it was fantastic, it was wonderful, it was beautiful.”

But the position of Mr. Trump and his legal team appeared to soften soon after his election victory on Nov. 8. At a hearing last week, Daniel Petrocelli, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, expressed interest in moving toward a settlement. Meanwhile, Mr. Trump’s lawyers were seeking to delay the trial in one of the California cases until after his inauguration on Jan. 20, while also requesting that he be allowed to testify on video.

At a hearing on the case in San Diego on Friday, Mr. Petrocelli said Mr. Trump had settled the case “without an acknowledgment of fault or liability.”

The judge overseeing the two California cases, Gonzalo Curiel, was thrust into the limelight of the campaign in May when Mr. Trump spent several minutes at a rally denouncing the judge’s decisions in the case, calling him a “hater” and questioning his impartiality because of his Mexican heritage.
 
After he faced days of criticism for his remarks on the judge, Mr. Trump released a statement saying his words had been “misconstrued as a categorical attack against people of Mexican heritage.” He also asserted that he was justified in questioning the fairness of his trial, given various rulings in the case that went against him. Still, he concluded, “we will win this case!”

Judge Curiel said in court Friday that he hoped that the settlement agreement — and the end of the presidential campaign — would begin “a healing process that this country very sorely needs.”

Under the agreement, Mr. Trump will pay $21 million to settle the two California class-action suits and $4 million to settle with the New York attorney general. The lawyers for the plaintiffs waived their attorneys’ fees. The deal still has to be approved in court, which could take months.

About 7,000 students will share in the settlement, according to their lawyers. The customers will be eligible to recoup at least half of what they spent at Trump University, and some could receive a full refund, the lawyers said.

Even before he was in the throes of his presidential bid, Mr. Trump began mounting a vigorous public defense of himself and Trump University. A website, 98percentapproval.com, touted high marks it received from students. A New York Times report in March, though, showed how some students recalled being pressured to give positive reviews.

Trump University, which operated from 2004 to 2010, included free introductory seminars across the country, focusing largely on real estate investing and learning Mr. Trump’s secrets. Students could then purchase more expensive packages costing up to $35,000.

Documents made public through the litigation revealed that some former Trump University managers had given testimony about its unscrupulous and exploitative business practices. One sales executive testified that the operation was “a facade, a total lie.” Another manager called it a “fraudulent scheme.”

Other records showed how Mr. Trump had overstated the depth of his involvement in the programs. Despite claims that Mr. Trump had handpicked instructors, he acknowledged in testimony that he had not.

In addition to the financial rewards, the conclusion of the Trump University cases brings vindication to former students, mostly ordinary people across the country who felt they had been robbed of their savings by Mr. Trump, a successful businessman they respected and admired.

One student, Jeffrey Tufenkian, who enrolled with his wife to pursue a real estate career, told The New York Times in 2011 that the experience “was almost completely worthless.”

“Trump University has no interest in taking care of its customers,” said Mr. Tufenkian, who paid $35,000 for a “Gold Elite” class, which he said at the time wiped out much of his savings.
  
“While we have no doubt that Trump University would have prevailed at trial based on the merits of this case, resolution of these matters allows President-elect Trump to devote his full attention to the important issues facing our great nation,” he said in a statement.

Ciaran McEvoy contributed reporting.

August 3, 2016

Fed Judge Rules Vs.Trump’s Motion for Dismissal of Trump U. Case



   
                                                                     


Late Tuesday afternoon, Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel denied Donald Trump’s motion for summary judgment in the Trump University case, finding instead that there is enough evidence to move forward with the case.  The class action lawsuit alleges that Trump University defrauded students out of thousands of dollars.

“The Court agrees with Plaintiff that the evidence in the record raises a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Defendant (Trump) participated in the operation or management of the enterprise,” Judge Curiel wrote in his order in response to Trump’s motion for summary judgement.

Judge Curiel also found that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Trump “knowingly participated” in the “scheme to defraud” and whether Trump made representations that were “false and misleading.” Trump’s attorney filed a motion to essentially get the case dismissed, stating that Trump was not integrally involved in the running of the organization, and that evidence from depositions showed that there was not enough to proceed with the case. Judge Curiel didn’t agree, finding the plaintiffs had presented sufficient evidence to survive the summary judgment motion. Curiel is the same judge who was the subject of Trump’s public comments about his “Mexican” heritage earlier this spring.

In a separate order, Judge Curiel ruled against media organizations seeking to get Trump’s videotaped deposition released.  Trump sat for two depositions under oath in December and January. Trump’s attorneys argued that releasing the videotapes could taint the jury pool, whereas the media organizations argued it was in the public interest to release the videotapes.

“The Court finds that Defendants’ argument has some merit. Courts have expressed caution about the release of litigation documents in audio or video form, which are which are ‘subject to a higher degree of potential abuse’ than written transcripts,” the order states.

Judge Curiel also ran through a lengthy list of items both in favor and against disclosure before ultimately concluding Trump has “established good cause to bar the further dissemination of the deposition videos.”

“Ultimately, [v]ideotaped depositions are permitted to facilitate the presentation of evidence to juries; they are not intended to provide ‘a vehicle for generating content for broadcast and other media,” Judge Curiel concluded.

 

July 14, 2016

Trump Suing Again, This time is ($10 Mil) Fmer Top Aide


Image result for trump sues Sam Nunberg










With the revelation on Wednesday of a legal dispute between Donald Trump and a former political aide, the unconventional campaign’s dirty laundry is once again spilling into public view, providing a new glimpse into an operation riven by conflicts unrelated to the task of beating Hillary Clinton.

This time, Trump’s decision to privately seek $10 million in damages from former campaign aide Sam Nunberg in May for an alleged breach of a nondisclosure agreement has triggered a public allegation that his former campaign manager and current press secretary engaged in a “sordid and illicit affair.” Trump’s arbitration claim and the allegation of an affair between Corey Lewandowski and Hope Hicks became public in a filing made by Sam Nunberg this week in New York state court, where he is suing to block private arbitration of Trump’s claim.
Story Continued Below

Hicks, Lewandowski and Nunberg did not respond to requests for comment, but Trump counsel Alan Garten said in a statement that Nunberg was “simply looking for free publicity using categorically false claims."

"As is standard practice for all major businesses, organizations and other entities dealing with proprietary information, Mr. Trump requires employees to sign and adhere to strict confidentiality agreements" Garten said. "When the agreements are not adhered to he will enforce them to the full extent of the law, and Mr. Trump’s litigation track record on such matters is outstanding."
The nasty dispute between Trump and his former aide – first reported on Wednesday by The Associated Press -- is just the latest in a long line of legal battles and internecine struggles that have distracted the campaign, this time on the eve of the Republican National Convention. Trump and his lawyers on Wednesday were also fighting in a courtroom in San Diego to prevent the public release of testy deposition videos Trump gave as part of a class-action suit against his Trump University real estate seminar.

Trump’s lawyer in that case argued on Wednesday that such videos, if released, would be used as a weapon in political ads and for reasons unrelated to the court case. "We have this convention in Cleveland next week. There's all kinds of potential for mischief," Daniel Petrocelli said.
Unsubstantiated rumors of an affair between Hicks and Lewandowski, who is married, have swirled in political circles since last summer, and were hinted at in May in a suggestive New York Post gossip item about a public shouting match between the two staffers on a sidewalk in Manhattan. But as a result of Trump’s decision to pursue arbitration, the allegation is now being aired explicitly.
“This is a typical Trump intimidation tactic that backfired on him,” said a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid antagonizing the parties involved. The person said they believe Nunberg, who is also a lawyer, possesses additional information about Trump world that he has so far avoided disclosing in order “to leave room for negotiation to dispose of this matter in amicable fashion.”

Trump’s May complaint against Nunberg claims that the former aide made disparaging comments about his old boss and disclosed confidential information, in violation of the confidentiality agreement.

The complaint cites the New York Post item, as well as a subsequent POLITICO article that reports on Nurnberg’s role in placing the item. The complaint alleges that the campaign learned of Nunberg’s intention to provide information for an unspecified article that was then forthcoming from POLITICO about Trump’s aides.

Trump’s complaint also claims that Nunberg admitted to a Trump representative that he provided confidential information to the New York Times and the Daily Caller.
In his filing, Nunberg cites several reason for blocking private arbitration in favor of court proceedings.

Trump is seeking private arbitration based on a clause in a strict January 2015 confidentiality agreement, but Nunberg argues that that clause was superseded by an April 2015 consulting agreement he signed with Trump that calls for disputes to be settled in state or federal court.
Nunberg, while denying that he provided information to the New York Post, also argues that he could not have provided confidential information about an incident that took place in public months after he left the campaign.

The former aide’s court filing also contends that Bloomberg reporter Michael Bender witnessed the incident. Two people with knowledge of the incident also told POLITICO that Bender witnessed it, though he did not subsequently report on it. Bender referred questions to a Bloomberg spokesman who declined to comment.

Nunberg argues that his comments about Trump in endorsing Ted Cruz were not disparaging and were constitutionally protected speech. His filing cites a March POLITICO article in which Nunberg comes out in support of Cruz and says that Trump lacks a “coherent political ideology.”
And the person with knowledge of the situation said, “Trump is annoyed that Sam didn’t come back begging for his job, because as soon as he was gone, [Cruz campaign manager] Jeff Roe picked him up and took him to the Cruz campaign, and Sam loved it there.”
Nunberg also argues that Trump brought his complaint through an entity called “Trump 2012 PCA,” which the former aide argues no longer exists.

Alan Garten, general counsel of the Trump Organization, did not respond to an email seeking responses to Nunberg’s arguments.
Nunberg is being represented by Andrew Miltenberg of the New York City law firm Nesenoff Miltenberg Goddard Laskowitz, LLP.
In a sign of the acrimony that characterizes Trump’s orbit, news that Trump was seeking $10 million in damages from a former adviser rattled another ex-aide to the New York billionaire. “When I saw the headline, I thought it might be,” the former adviser remarked to POLITICO


January 18, 2015

High Profile Egyptian Lawyer Sues Army for claiming they had Cure for AIDS, Hep C


















(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) High-profile lawyer Khaled Abou Bakr filed a lawsuit against army officials who promoted the controversial AIDS and Hepatitis C curing device in 2014, he announced on his Twitter account on Sunday.

The lawsuit was submitted on the grounds that they manipulated and failed to deliver their promise to the Egyptian people.

Abou Bakr demanded investigations against the first administrator of the so-called cure, Maj. Ibrahim Abdel Atty El-Sayed.

In his published complaint addressed to Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat, Abou Bakr said that in March, the army opened up the formal application route from patients. They promised to deliver the cure by 30 June followed by a six-month postponement notice on that date, but applicants have yet to see any results.

In February 2014, Abdel Atty announced he reached a cure for AIDS and Hepatitis C with 100% guaranteed results, saying: "I promise you that after today there will be no more Virus C patients."

The announcement was made in the presence of then-defence minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and former interim president Adly Mansour. Maj. Taher Abdullah, former head of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority (AFEA), spoke of medical and scientific achievement at the institution.

Shortly after, controversy erupted among scientists who expressed scepticism about the alleged cure. Egyptian scientist and former presidential advisor Essam Heggy told the press here were no scientific grounds for that cure, adding that "it would reflect badly on Egyptian scientists' reputation across the globe".

Army officials, journalists, activists and scientists exchanged back-and-forth accusations in the media following information that the army was launching investigations on the curing device. This would be done through an assigned scientific committee, although Abdullah denied this to the press.

Abou Bakr included Abdullah in his lawsuit, in addition to Dr Ahmed Moanes, a digestive and liver specialist at Ain Shams University's Faculty of Medicine. The lawsuit said Moanes spoke on behalf of the committee expressing their scepticism, yet kept defending the cure in the media.

Some media reports said that Abdel Atty was neither scientifically certified nor given the military rank as an honorary title. Despite this, Abdel Atty appeared alongside a group of men on a televised programme to speak about his 'invention' in military uniforms. Activists said "he had embarrassed the army".

Abou Bakr demanded compensation for the poor, helpless patients, who gave up their original treatment plans following high hopes in light of the army's announced breakthrough.


Surgeon-turned-satirist Bassem Youssef repeatedly mocked the "invention" on his television show, often adding a digital time ticker on the screen to remind the audience of the army's deadline promises.

A year before the army's device invention was made public, it was reported that an army official had developed a detection device for Hepatitis C, known as C-fast. Scientists' opinions from all over the world had were divided between confirmation that the device actually worked, has been tested and was a breakthrough, while others remained sceptical, according to interviews published by The Guardian in February 2013.

There are approximately 40,000 deaths from Hepatitis C and approximately 165,000 new cases in Egypt every year, according to remarks made in July 2014 by Dr Henk Bekedam, World Health Organization (WHO) representative in Egypt.

October 25, 2014

Hetero Couple Files to Stop gay Marriage in Kansas



                                                    
           
 Claiming that their marriage is protected by the 5th Amendment, a Kansas couple is filing a lawsuit to keep gay marriage from coming to the Sunflower State.
The lawsuit comes from Attorney Phillip Unruh and his wife Sandra. The couple is asking a federal court out of Kansas City to let them intervene in a gay marriage case.
Unruh’s lawsuit is a motion to become a party to a lawsuit in Kansas City Federal Court and regards the definition of marriage.
Phil Unruh, an attorney from Harper said,
“I’m asking to become a party to the lawsuit in the Kansas City federal district court case between the plaintiffs that’s filed against the state of Kansas. They are requesting that the court determine that the Kansas constitution defining marriage be found unconstitutional. My wife and I are asking to intervene.
The state will be arguing of support of the laws that the state of Kansas has. The plaintiffs will be looking at their rights.
And we feel married people have rights too and we want to speak up for our rights as married people. And we are concerned that a decision will be made and if a decision is going to be made we want to have our day in court as well.”
A federal judge was scheduled to hear arguments for and against Kansas’ gay marriage ban on Friday but was postponed by the court
ACLU attorney Doug Bonney said U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree is considering whether to reschedule the oral arguments or decide the case based on the parties’ written arguments.
Bonney said he told Crabtree during a 30-minute conference Thursday that the ACLU did not have time to review the state’s written response to the lawsuit because it had just been filed.
The ACLU filed the lawsuit for two lesbian couples denied marriage licenses in Douglas and Sedgwick counties.
The couples sought the licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from five other states seeking to preserve gay-marriage bans.

Click to view the lawsuit
Click to view the lawsuit filed by the Unruhs

The ALCU argues that gay couples should not be prevented from marrying, while government officials try to defend the state’s constitutional prohibition against gay marriages. They also contend that a federal ruling specific to Kansas law would aid the State Supreme Court in a separate case.
“The ACLU of Kansas understands that the freedom to marry is an important right. Marriage equality is the law in more than 25 states now,” said Susan Estes, Board President of the ACLU of Kansas in the lawsuit filed October 10. “And it’s time for marriage equality in Kansas. All loving and committed couples – without restrictions of state lines or sexual orientation – should have access to the protections that marriage provides.”
Other quotes from the court filing by Unruh included:
“The extension of marriage to same sex relationships inflict profound harm on the Unruhs.”
“A ruling extending marriage to same sex relationships would violate the Unruh’s right to equal protection under the law by the Court’s failure to protect marriage and support the right of Kansas citizens to codify its implicit meaning.”I
In a phone interview with Unruh Thursday, he said he felt like this was an action he felt he had to take.
“We feel married people have rights to and we want to speak up for our rights as married people. And we are concerned that a decision will be made and if a decision is going to be made we want to have our day in court as well,” said Unruh.
Part of Unruh’s concern is regarding the definition of marriage.
“We’re not sure what marriage means at this point and time. It meant what our constitution says it meant, since the beginning of civilization, now we don’t have a definition at all…If the Kansas City District Court finds our constitution amendment defining marriage is unconstitutional, I think, a decision that changes the word from meaning something to meaning nothing affects my rights, I think I have the right for it to stay the same.”
“We don’t want to have our word extended to include their relationship. We don’t want to share the word that we use for our relationship with theirs that’s deeply disturbing to me and my wife, said Unruh. “And I’m not speaking for the rest of the married people in the state of Kansas, but apparently 70 percent of the people who voted for the constitutional amendment felt the way.”
Governor Sam Brownback has been one of the strong supporters of the 2005 vote that created the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The state already banned gay marriage before the vote, but the constitutional amendment was meant to shore up the law against legal challenges.
Asked whether same-sex marriage would personally affect Unruh’s marriage with his wife he responded:  “No, but it would affect the joy and celebration that we think of a when we think of marriage, because we would also have to have in mind on a daily basis that its now shared with people, that, who have the same sex relationships. The word would be a disturbing emotion for us on a daily basis, know that the word is being shared with people who are in a same sex relationship.”

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