"Chump University" -- Did you really think Donald Trump would or could teach you how to become rich using real estate as your wealth-building vehicle?

There is only one Trump and, contrary to popular belief, his success cannot be packaged in course form and sold to the masses as if it were a cologne …

Consider the fact that Donald Trump was born to a rich real estate developer father, went to one of the leading business schools in America, has bankable assets, has an existing, substantial line of credit, and a staff of lawyers and other experts that select and vet the projects and opportunities that are brought to him. Forget the celebrity and the boastfulness. Think about what it would take to really prosper in the real estate market. Hard work, financing, mental acuity, the guts to gamble, political connections, and a willingness to hustle and shamelessly promote yourself and your project at every conceivable opportunity, turning yourself into a brand.

Now, what entrepreneurial course can teach that and guarantee results? Not Wharton. Not Harvard. Not Stanford. Not MIT. So why should anyone believe that any educational institution could guarantee success or provide you with guaranteed profit-making opportunities?

Hope springs eternal …

Even the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, formerly known as Trump University, LLC, would have a hard time screening out prospective students who had a modicum of ability and the cash to back their educational efforts. And, like many of the Trump Enterprises, it is likely that the heavy lifting was done by others and that Trump lent his name and considerable reputation to the enterprise – perhaps lecturing or suggesting course materials.

Consider what you really get in the Trump Gold Elite Package for the bargain price of $48,490 – discounted 28% to $34,995 if you take advantage of the “event special.”

  • 3-Day Field Mentorship – $25,000.
  • Wealth Preservation Retreat – $5,000.
  • QuickTurn Real Estate Retreat – $5,000.
  • Creative Financing Retreat – $5,000.
  • Commercial & Multi-Family Retreat – $5,000.
  • Investor’s Edge Real Estate Software ($29.95/month database fee not included). – $2,495.
  • Incorporate Your Business (State Licensing fees not Included) – $995.

Of course, you sign an enrollment form with the usual disclaimers that unilaterally declare you to be stupid and responsible for your own mistakes.

"This Program is provided for information only and no guarantees, promises, representations or warranties of any kind regarding specific or general benefits, monetary or otherwise, have been or will be made by the Program, Program Instructors, Trump U, their affiliates or their officers, principals, representatives, agents or employees (collectively, "Principals”). I acknowledge that none of the Principals is engage in rendering financial, investment, legal, accounting, or other professional services or advice. If such professional advice or other expert services are required, I acknowledge that I should seek the services of a competent professional who can consider mv particular circumstances. I acknowledge that none of the Principals is responsible for, and they shall have no liability for, my business success of failure, my acts and omissions, the appropriateness of my. business decisions, or my use of or reliance on Program information. Trump U's obligation to start providing services starts when full payment is received."

By signing below, I (“Participant”)  acknowledge that I have read and agree to the provisions on the front and the back of this Enrollment Form." <Source: Case 3:10-cv-00940-GPC-WVG Document 4-1 Filed 05/26/10 Page 4 of 22>

Like all such big-money educational efforts, the ultimate qualifying factor is your ability to pay the bill – using whatever funds or credit you may have available. Do I believe that some of these educational programs use the hard sell and that some unscrupulous salesman may stray from the truth? You bet. I used to think it great fun to go with one of my buddies to these “wealth” seminars, not only to observe the salesmanship, but to toss a monkey wrench in the proceedings from time to time by asking a pointed question or two.

So why am I not surprised that the New York Attorney General is suing Trump for $40 million. Or that Trump is claiming that the suit is politically motivated and counter-suing for extortion …

Donald Trump, ‘Trump University’ in $40 Million Lawsuit for ‘Deception at Every Stage’; Trump Says Suit Is Political Extortion

New York’s attorney general sued Donald Trump for $40 million Saturday, saying the real estate mogul helped run a phony “Trump University” that promised to make students rich but instead steered them into expensive and mostly useless seminars, and even failed to deliver promised apprenticeships.

Trump shot back that the Democrat’s lawsuit is false and politically motivated.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says many of the 5,000 students who paid up to $35,000 thought they would at least meet Trump but instead all they got was their picture taken in front of a life-size picture of “The Apprentice” TV star.

“Trump University engaged in deception at every stage of consumers’ advancement through costly programs and caused real financial harm,” Schneiderman said. “Trump University, with Donald Trump’s knowledge and participation, relied on Trump’s name recognition and celebrity status to take advantage of consumers who believed in the Trump brand.”

New York is hardball city – where politics is a contact sport and many innocents are left in the dust of their own reputations …

Considering that there is a pending civil case in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California (San Diego), case 3:10-cv-00940-GPC-WVG, filed on April 30,2013 alleging fraud, one wonders why the New York Attorney General would bring an additional lawsuit? Publicity? An Elliot Spitzer-style extortion whereby the defendant believes it is cheaper to settle than be bled to death with attorney’s fees and suffer reputational damage? Where the prosecutor claims victory, even if it is one of those pre-arranged settlements where the defendant pays a “record fine” and neither admits nor denies the allegations. Or, as Trump’s representative alleges, political pique at the lack of campaign support from “The Donald.”

But Trump’s attorney accused Schneiderman of trying to extort campaign contributions from the real estate mogul through his investigation of Trump. Attorney Michael D. Cohen told The Associated Press on Saturday that Schneiderman’s lawsuit was filled with falsehoods. Cohen said Trump and his university never defrauded anyone.

The attorney general has been angry because he felt that Mr. Trump and his various companies should have done much more for him in terms of fundraising,” Cohen said. “This entire investigation is politically motivated and it is a tremendous waste of taxpayers’ money.”

State Board of Elections records show Trump has spent more than $136,000 on New York campaigns since 2010. He contributed $12,500 to Schneiderman in October 2010, when Schneiderman was running for attorney general, records show. An outspoken conservative, Trump himself flirted with a presidential run last year.

Donald Trump will not sit back and be extorted by anyone, including the attorney general,” Cohen said.

The lawsuit says many of the wannabe moguls were unable to land even one real estate deal and were left far worse off than before the lessons, facing thousands of dollars in debt for the seminar program once billed as a top quality university with Trump’s “hand-picked” instructors.

Schneiderman is suing the program, Trump as the university chairman, and the former president of the university in a case to be handled in state Supreme Court in Manhattan. He accuses them of engaging in persistent fraud, illegal and deceptive conduct and violating federal consumer protection law. The $40 million he seeks is mostly to pay restitution to consumers.

Read more at Donald Trump, ‘Trump University’ in $40 Million Lawsuit for ‘Deception at Every Stage’; Trump Says Suit Is Political Extortion |

Bottom line …

There have always been, and will always be, courses based on the celebrity of a successful or wealthy individual. And, where big money is concerned, their will always be fraud, misrepresentation and shady characters hanging about. Even some of the successful past students may show up – shilling for the company in return a rebate of their tuition, additional coursework, or other benefit. 

What most people fail to consider is that college-level courses from some of the most prestigious universities can be found on-line where they are offered free or at minimal costs. Of course, the class takes time, involves study and homework, and, of course, is not sold with the promise to reveal the secrets of success.

The best advice that can be given comes from the Better Business Bureau. “Investigate Before You Invest.” 

Enjoy --  this is one of my all time favorites in get rich in real estate programs, featuring the world-class poker champion and legendary pitchman Tuan "Tommy" Vu ...

One of my favorite VUisms … (Surrounded by beautiful girls)  “Do you think these girls like me? NO, they like my money.” Read more VUisms here

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS