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Trump, and his family urge dismissal of marketing scam lawsuit

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U.S. President Donald Trump and his adult children on Thursday urged a federal judge to dismiss a racketeering lawsuit accusing them of using the family name to promote sham marketing opportunities to vulnerable, financially struggling investors.

Calling the lawsuit “implausible,” the Trump family said in a filing in federal court in Manhattan that the four plaintiffs failed to prove there was fraud or intent to cause harm, or that any statements by Donald Trump caused losses.

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A spokeswoman for the plaintiffs, who went by pseudonyms, had no immediate comment.

They accused the Trump family of having received millions of dollars of secret payments from 2005 to 2015 to endorse American Communications Network, which charged $499 for a chance to sell videophones and other goods, and two other businesses.

The lawsuit said the Trumps deliberately conned victims into believing Donald Trump stood behind the investments and thought they would pay off, when the real goal was to enrich themselves. They said this violated a federal anti-racketeering law known as RICO.

Other defendants included an affiliate of the Trump Organization and Trump’s adult children Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka.

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In Thursday’s filing, the defendants suggested that the case was politically motivated, having been filed against the Republican president one week before November’s congressional elections and funded by a nonprofit whose president backs progressive causes.

They also said Trump’s promotional statements about ACN were merely opinion, or were “puffery” that reasonable investors could not rely on, and that none of the other defendants said anything the investors might have heard.

The plaintiffs originally sued on Oct. 29, 2018, and amended their complaint on Jan. 31.

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But according to the defendants, the new complaint “cures none of the original defects, and in fact only highlights the implausibility, of a lawsuit that seeks to convert a celebrity endorsement by Mr. Trump and the licensing business of the Trump family, in toto, into a RICO violation by which Plaintiffs-who paid no money to any Trump business, ever-lost $499 each.”

The plaintiffs have until March 7 to respond.

The case is Doe et al v Trump Corp et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 18-09936.

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Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Grant McCool

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Baptists unanimously vote out lesbian couple over same-sex marriage: ‘It was more out of spite’

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A lesbian couple from Mississippi says they were asked to leave their Baptist church over their relationship.

Mary Catherine Trollinger and her partner Olivia Jennings were notified by letter that they were no longer welcome at Gracewood Baptist Church in Southaven, where they met last year, reported WATN-TV.

Their pastor, Barry Baker, signed the letter, which stated he had warned them against pursuing an "unbiblical" and "degrading" same-sex relationship, and told the couple they had been unanimously -- and "sadly" -- voted out during a special business meeting at the church.

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Trump’s latest attempt to smear Scaramucci dunked in mockery

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At least one White House or campaign staffer apparently helped President Donald Trump attack his short-lived communications director Anthony Scaramucci -- and he was met with mockery.

The president tweeted out a supercut video late Monday of Scaramucci defending Trump before his recent public disavowal, and attacked his former staffer as a "dope" who's seeking fame.

Nobody ever heard of this dope until he met me. He only lasted 11 days! pic.twitter.com/RzX3zjXzga

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019

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Has Trump really built a ‘movement’? Be afraid — it will outlast his presidency

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Last Thursday, Donald Trump took his political rodeo to New Hampshire. As usual, he told lies about the Democratic Party being dominated by "socialists" and "hating" America, bragged about the size of the crowd, and threatened that if he is not re-elected in 2020 the United States will face economic ruin. The Trumpian faithful were greatly entertained.

The "highlight" of the event was when Trump taunted a "protester":

But while the Democrats rage and rages — that guy has got a serious weight problem. Go home, start exercising. Get him out of here, please. Got a bigger problem than I do. Got a bigger problem than all of us. Now he goes home and his mom says, what the hell have you just done?

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