Daily Archives: August 25, 2013

Trump Institute Accused of Fraud by N.Y. Attorney General

Donald Trump was sued by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over claims the billionaire operated a fraudulent online educational institute that swindled students out of $40 million.

Trump University, now known as the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, operated as an unlicensed educational institution and misled students with promises that they would gain real estate investing expertise, according a copy of the petition provided by Schneiderman’s office. Yesterday’s filing wasn’t immediately available from New York Supreme Court in Manhattan.

Read on.

Today, Schneiderman tweeted:

“Trump used his celebrity, personally appearing in commercials making false promises to convince#NY‘ers to pay for lessons they never got …”

“No one, no matter how rich or popular they are, has right to scam hard working #NY‘ers. Anyone who does should expect to be held accountable …

Here is a filing in U.S. District Court in San Diego in 2010 of Trump University. Click here.

Huffington Post:

Tarla Makaeff is a former fashion designer from Corona del Mar, Calif. and lead plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit. Makaeff says that she was convinced to attend the seminars by ads featuring Trump. Three-quarters of the world’s millionaires “made their fortune in real estate,” the promos boasted. “Now it’s your turn.”

But soon, Makaeff was pressured to raise her credit card limits so she could purchase the Trump Gold Program for $35,000, which promised “hand-picked” mentors and a year of training. Instead, she spent two days looking at real estate properties and a half day at a local Home Depot, after which the mentors “quickly disappeared,” Makaeff said. In addition, she claims the seminars taught her to snatch up cheap homes by using “bandit signs,” which are ads placed along the side of roads — a practice that is illegal in California and other states.

Her lawsuit alleges that Trump University’s mentors and associates “guide students toward deals in which they have a personal financial interest at stake — creating a severe conflict of interest, so that the mentors profit while the student does not.”

Another plaintiff in the suit, Ed Oberkrom, a 66-year-old retired computer technician living in St. Louis, says that he and a friend each dropped $25,000 on a similar Trump program. It promised access to “exclusive” property listings and the guidance of mentors. But Oberkrom told The Huffington Post that the listings were available elsewhere online for $35, Trump University staffers gave him the brush-off, and he didn’t get his money back, due to a three-day window on refunds.

“It’s a fly-by-night outfit and I feel cheated,” he says. “What is really aggravating is that Trump is noted for real estate, and that’s what attracted me in the first place.”


B of A, JPM Report Fulfilling Mortgage Settlement Obligations

B of A, JPM Report Fulfilling Mortgage Settlement Obligations

Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase are the latest servicers to say they have fulfilled their obligations related to the national mortgage settlement. The five servicers covered by the deal say they have provided more than $50 billion in consumer relief, double what was required.


Maryland Attorney Faces 90-Day Suspension Over “Robo-Signing”

Maryland Attorney Faces 90-Day Suspension Over “Robo-Signing”

The Maryland Court of Appeals has found that an attorney violated three ethics rules (including failure to discharge supervisory obligations) where he allowed non-attorney employees to “robo-sign” and notarize “his” signature on foreclosure documents.

The court imposed a suspension of 90 days in light of his lenghty career without prior discipline and the extensive post-misconduct steps that he took to emedy the misconduct.

Former Chief Judge Bell impose a reprimand. (Mike Frisch)



“Phantom” foreclosure cases in Colorado need a close look Read more: “Phantom” foreclosure cases in Colorado need a close look

“Phantom” foreclosure cases in Colorado need a close look Read more: “Phantom” foreclosure cases in Colorado need a close look

We’ve said previously how disturbing it is to see allegations that homeowners who’d faced the loss of their houses had been socked with allegedly inflated fees by foreclosure lawyers.

Attorney General John Suthers is still investigating the law firms that have charged those fees, but now The Denver Post’s David Migoya has uncovered what appears to be another wrong suffered by homeowners during an extraordinarily trying time. Migoya reported recently that lawyers are charging homeowners hundreds of dollars in fees to head off “phantom” foreclosure cases that were never actually filed in court.

Migoya’s reporting identified 126 such cases since January 2012 in which homeowners in 11 counties were told by county public trustees to pay the charges or face losing their homes.

The practice has been going on since at least 2006, so the number could be much higher.

Take the example of Harold Mildenstein, a 78-year-old former satellite-TV repairman, who paid $6,148 in fees to the Jefferson County public trustee, a sum that included a $200 fee for a foreclosure lawsuit that was never filed. He also had to pay a $125 fee to cover the legal posting by process servers of the phantom suit.

The $325 in costs may not seem like much, Mildenstein told Migoya, “but I just lost my job this morning, and it’s pretty important to me now.”

Under state law, public trustees, who oversee the state’s foreclosure process, cannot challenge the costs that foreclosure lawyers assert.

Read more: “Phantom” foreclosure cases in Colorado need a close look – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/realestatenews/ci_23921463/phantom-foreclosure-cases-colorado-need-close-look#ixzz2cxIe8kqW 


Greg Palast | Confidential Memo at the Heart of the Global Financial Crisis

Greg Palast | Confidential Memo at the Heart of the Global Financial Crisis

Greg Palast, Vice Magazine
Greg writes: “The Memo confirmed every conspiracy freak’s fantasy: that in the late 1990s, the top US Treasury officials secretly conspired with a small cabal of banker big-shots to rip apart financial regulation across the planet.”

Here is the memo: http://www.gregpalast.com//vulturespicnic/pages/filecabinet/chapter12/Geithner_Summers%20Memo.pdf