This sounds familiar!
Donald Trump pretended to be an expert in business and making money. He endorsed the multi-level marketing company ACN and had their representatives on The Apprentice TV show twice. The implications were clear: "Donald Trump knows good companies when he sees them! It's an opportunity to become rich!"
Trump and his family were being PAID to do this, of course.
Or, as Courthouse News puts it, this "federal class action [lawsuit] says the Trumps perpetuated a yearslong fraud by promoting the ACN pyramid scheme on 'The Apprentice' and at business conventions."
And while ACN required their
victims buyers to sign a contract committing to arbitration should they sue, Trump and his family, as paid endorsers, never signed such a contract with ACN or with anyone giving money to ACN to make more money.
But Trump's "lawyers" (?) argued in court that those
chumps plaintiffs should have to go through arbitration anyway because arbitration is in the ACN pie and they get a piece don't they?
Yesterday a court voted 3-0, no they don't. Politico reports the judges' statement:
“Central to the plaintiffs’ theory of fraud is that the defendants misled the plaintiffs to believe that the defendants and ACN were independent of one another and that the defendants were endorsing and promoting ACN based on an objective outside assessment of the value of ACN’s business opportunity."
Instead, Trump was endorsing ACN for money.
The lawyers against Trump (they should start a band!) are very happy today:
The lead counsel for the plaintiffs, Roberta Kaplan, hailed the appeals court’s ruling.
“We … are excited to resume discovery in this important case about a years-long consumer fraud on hard working Americans perpetrated by Donald Trump and three of his adult children,” Kaplan said in a statement. “We have pending subpoenas out to ACN and MGM and look forward to receiving the documents and Celebrity Apprentice tapes responsive to those subpoenas. And we similarly intend to press the Trumps to complete their document production so that we can begin taking depositions as soon as possible.”
The Trumps could appeal, but their lawyers are really busy, and it's unlikely this 3-0 decision will be overturned because simply put, Trump is claiming the rights within a contract he didn't sign and wasn't a part of, the end.