Trump University Script Tells Students to Inflate Income

Trump University Script Tells Students to Inflate Income

A Trump University seminar presentation advised students to try and boost their credit card limit by inflating their income by $75,000, according to documents made public in federal court this week. The instruction, legal experts said, could amount to a lesson in bank fraud.

“If someone is encouraging people to make a false representation about their current income — that might be an appropriate target for prosecution,” said John W. Moscow, former head of the Frauds Bureau of the New York County District Attorney’s office.

“If the caller actually does what they were told to do, that could easily be fraud,” agreed Randall M. Fox, who served as founding Bureau Chief of New York Attorney General’s Taxpayer Protection Bureau.

Broad allegations of fraud swirling in three separate civil cases against Trump University have dogged the Republican presidential front-runner this week, after a federal judge in California unsealed hundreds of pages of internal documents about Trump’s educational enterprise. Trump took to Twitter Thursday to defend the embattled, now-defunct business, saying he would reopen the school once he prevailed in the courts.

An undated presentation called “Fast Track to Foreclosure Investing,” offers an inside look at how the costly real estate seminars worked and includes instructions for how to increase credit card limits, presumably to enable someone with scarce resources to invest more money in foreclosed property.

“When asked for your income,” the instructor’s script reads, “take your current income and add $75,000 from your real estate enterprise.”

PHOTO: A slide from a cache of Trump University documents released by court order May 31, 2016.U.S. District Court
A slide from a cache of Trump University documents released by court order May 31, 2016.

Moscow, now in private practice, said credit limits are not set based on the promise of future earnings, no more than they would rely “on the chance of holding a winning lottery ticket.”

Trump Organization General Counsel Alan Garten told ABC News the inclusion of that instruction in internal Trump University materials does not mean that guidance was ever given to students.

“A lot of what was released was never even used,” Garten said.

“While we recognize it is a 24-hour news cycle, at the end of the day, the case is going to be tried in a court room in front of a jury,” he said. “Nothing that has been released changes our outlook of the case. We are very confident that we provided a valuable education to students and that those who participated got their money’s worth.”

Also among the documents released Tuesday are a number of statements from former employees of the university, including one who said the program, in which customers can buy access to increasingly expensive real estate courses and seminars, was a “fraudulent scheme, and that it preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money.”

Trump University is the target of three lawsuits: two in California and one in New York. The documents released this week are part of one of the California suits, but New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who brought the N.Y. suit against Trump in 2013, also recently said that starting with calling itself a “university,” “It was really a fraud from beginning to end.”

Another former employee of Trump University, Roger Schank, told ABC News Thursday that while he agreed it should not have been called a “university,” the program he worked for from 2005 to 2007 was “absolutely not” fraudulent.

“I don’t know what happened after my tenure – maybe they did something fraudulent, I wouldn’t know,” he said. Schank said he was there at the beginning and developed online courses — not the costly seminars that have been the focus of many of the public statements regarding the fraud allegations.