Speed Reads

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Donald Trump accused of another for-profit education scam

As Donald Trump fends off accusations that he knowingly scammed Trump University students, The New York Times has uncovered a second apparent scam involving his seminar business, Trump Institute.

Opened in 2005, the Trump Institute charged people up to $2,000 to learn Trump's "wealth-creating secrets and strategies." While Trump didn't own the business, the institute allegedly lied about the extent of Trump's involvement despite Trump vowing that he was "teaching what I've learned." The program was actually run by a couple who had an extensive record of committing fraud, and the manual used to teach the students was largely plagiarized:

Unbeknownst to customers at the time, though, even the printed materials handed out to seminar attendees were based on a lie. The Trump Institute copyrighted its publication, each page emblazoned with "Billionaire's Road Map to Success," and it distributed the materials to those who attended the seminars.

Yet much of the handbook's contents were lifted without attribution from an obscure how-to guide published by Success magazine in 1995 called "Real Estate Mastery System."

At least 20 pages of the Trump Institute book were copied entirely or in large part from "Real Estate Mastery System." Even some of its hypothetical scenarios — "Seller A is asking $80,000 for a single-payer residence" — were repeated verbatim. [The New York Times]

Unsurprisingly, the Trump Institute eventually earned an F from the Better Business Bureau. "What criminals they are," one student said afterward. "They wanted to steal my money." Read the entire investigation at The New York Times.