President Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and The Trump Organization were dealt a blow Monday when a federal court judge refused to put a class action lawsuit against the family and the family business on hold.
Calling it an “Ugly Pyramid Scheme,” Law & Crime reports the “class action plaintiffs allege that the Trump family business promoted a multi-level marketing, or pyramid, scheme known as ACN Opportunity, LLC. ACN, the plaintiffs said, was a ‘get-rich-quick scheme’ that relied on Trump and his family ‘conn[ing] each of these victims into giving up hundreds or thousands of dollars,’ in violation of various state laws.”
The anonymous plaintiffs say ACN was paying the Trumps for their endorsement, which included positive mentions on various episodes of “Celebrity Apprentice,” but that financial link was never disclosed.
The judge appeared to agree.
“Plaintiffs were duped about the nature of the relationship between ACN and Defendants,” Judge Lorna G. Schofield wrote.
The original case was filed “as an anti-‘racketeering enterprise’ action,” Law & Crime adds, but “was later streamlined” when two federal charges were removed after the Trumps tried to have the case dismissed.
A 2018 New York Times article on the original case reported that the “complaint alleges that Mr. Trump and his family received secret payments from three business entities in exchange for promoting them as legitimate opportunities, when in reality they were get-rich-quick schemes that harmed investors, many of whom were unsophisticated and struggling financially.”
It called ACN “a telecommunications marketing company that paid Mr. Trump millions of dollars to endorse its products.”