San Diego

Documents In Trump University Case Unsealed in San Diego

Another class-action lawsuit involving Trump University is scheduled to be heard in November 2016 in San Diego federal court.

Several playbooks used by Trump University were released to the public Tuesday and detail how much students paid to attend the now-closed school.

According to the confidential Trump documents, after a free seminar to attract potential clients, the next step was to sign students up for a $1,495 three-day-training. After that, according to a flow chart released with the documents, the Trump University sales people were asked to convince students to sign-up for elite levels of training. The students might pay anywhere from $10-35,000 for the “Trump Elite Packages," according to the documents.

This included a “quick start retreat” at the “Silver Elite” and “Bronze Elite” levels. The $35,000 “Gold Elite level” training included a $13,495 savings for students, the documents detail.

Click here to read more about the packages.

The Washington Post asked U.S. Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel to intervene in order to ask for thousands of pages of documents to be unsealed in one of the class-action lawsuits against Donald Trump and Trump University. The judge agreed issued the unsealing Friday in a San Diego courtroom.

In the class action lawsuits, Trump University is accused of misleading students with unfulfilled promises of teaching them the secret to being successful in the real estate business.

The allegations outlined in court documents include Trump University, which took in over $40 million, was fraudulent and deceptive. 

One of the documents released was a transcript from a 2012 video deposition of Michael Sexton.

According to the transcript, it was Sexton's idea to start Trump University. In the transcript it describes how he presented the idea to Trump in 2004 through a former partner’s brother-in-law, who was a golfing buddy of Trump.

In the transcript of the deposition, Sexton said Trump University never sought accreditation to become a university.

Click here to read the entire deposition of Sexton. 

The “confidential” Trump University documents include a letter signed by Trump to be sent to prospective University students.

Titled “Mailer is Sent 7-10 Days Prior," it begins “I am personally inviting you and a guest to a powerful wealth building event." The letter continues, “when I speak, people listen...when I send out invitations, people attend because they know my invitation means one thing-there is money to be made."

Click here to read the letter signed by Trump.

Two class-action lawsuits against the now-closed Trump University are being heard in San Diego courtrooms, another lawsuit is based in a New York court. The San Diego cases include: Cohen v. Trump, a nationwide class action lawsuit and Makaeff v. Trump, a class action in California, Florida and New York.

Click here to read more about the Trump University lawsuits. 

Trump denies the allegations in the lawsuits. His attorney, Daniel Petrocelli said, “the case is unwarranted; (Trump) will defend himself fully."

The documents released Tuesday are associated with the Cohen v. Trump case.

Click here to read the corrected unsealing order.

In a statement, Jill Martin, an attorney representing Trump and Trump University said, "the Court’s order unsealing documents has no bearing on the merits of Trump University’s case. Much of the unsealed evidence, including declarations and surveys from former Trump University students, demonstrates the high level of satisfaction from students and that Trump University taught valuable real estate information. Trump University looks forward to using this evidence, along with much more, to win when the case is brought before a jury."

Other documents released Tuesday include the Trump University sales playbook and several positive reviews from Trump University event attendees.

The sales playbook was given to University sales people to sell the schools various real estate programs to school attendees.

Click here to read pages from the sales playbook. 

In the playbook, the company’s sales force is instructed to “use a two-part sales process to set and close a client” described as “The Roller Coaster of Emotions.” The book details how the sales force was directed to bring a prospective client back to the moment they requested information about the sales course.

“The motivation they experience can die quickly as the realities of their daily lives take over,” the sales playbook instructs. “It’s is our job to rekindle that motivation.”

According to the playbook, a formula for success included 80 to 100 phone calls a day minimum with 15 sales appointments scheduled for Monday through Friday.

“Don’t ask people what they THINK about something you’ve said. Instead, always ask them how they FEEL about it,” the screeners were told in the sales playbook.

When a potential candidate asks if the program will guarantee success, the screener is instructed to reply:

“I wish I could answer it. You See, we have no control over whether we have a client who is going to show up for all their phone appointments with their coach or if they’re going to get off the couch and get out there and do the assignments they’re given...Actually it’s YOU who need to assure us that if you’re selected for this advanced training that you’re actually going to get out there and do this.”

According to the transcript of the deposition of Sexton, the target audience for Trump University enrollment was college-educated males, 40-48 years old, "maybe 40 to 55" years-old.

Also provided were instructions on what to do if a potential client objected by saying they don’t like running up credit card debt or they needed to check with their wives first before signing up for any course.

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