Lawsuit Accuses Trump Organization of Multi-Level Marketing and Fraud Scheme
A new lawsuit filed in court on Monday names President Trump and family as defendants and accuses them of participation in a fraudulent marketing scheme.
Four people filed a complaint against President Donald Trump, members of the Trump family, and the Trump Organization on Monday, accusing them of falsely promoting what they call a multi-level marketing scheme. Central to the scheme is the multi-level marketing company the American Communications Network. The would-be entrepreneurs allegedly lost hundreds to thousands of dollars – losses the lawsuit alleges were devastating to the plaintiffs.
According to the complaint, the members purchased training sessions and other introductory marketing materials from the ACN, which would allow them to sell ACN products. The products were then sold at small hotel gatherings or by recruiting other business owners into the network.
These events were treated as “motivational rallies, designed to stoke enthusiasm and convince [potential investors] that they can make a profit if they just keep investing,” the complaint states.
“The investments did not — and could not — offer a reasonable probability of success” the suit states. “It was, after all, the potential to profit from consumers’ unrecouped investments that drew the Trump Enterprise to the endorsed entities in the first place.”
ACN’s Ties To President Trump
The ACN was endorsed by President Trump and his children from 2005 to 2015. When Trump became the Republican presidential nominee in 2015, he allegedly severed ties with the ACN. The lawsuit alleges during this time the Trump family and organization received millions of dollars of secret payments from ACN to endorse the company.
Plaintiffs claim that that Trump’s endorsement of the ACN was what led them to sink thousands of dollars into the alleged scheme. The president allegedly kept his compensation for endorsing the ACN a secret. At one point Trump stated that he was too rich to need the ACN’s money, denying compensation for his endorsement of the company. Also undisclosed was the high-risk nature of the scheme, as well as the unlikeliness to produce any profitable return to the investors.
Two of the plaintiff investors are from California – one is a former Salvation Army employee, and the other is a hospice caregiver. Another investor is a food delivery driver from Maryland. The plaintiffs allege that they each paid $499 to join the ACN, and another $149 each successive year for renewal fees.
These individuals have filed a motion to proceed under pseudonyms against President Trump. The preliminary statement in the motion begins:
Even for the most sophisticated and well-resourced adversaries, filing suit to hold the President of the United States accountable for breaking the law is a perilous decision. The current President, Donald J. Trump, has a documented history of wielding his wealth, stature, and Twitter account to attack people whom he perceives to be his enemies, including people who file lawsuits against him. That has been true for decades, and it has remained true since he was elected to a position that affords him the largest bully pulpit on the planet. But the threat to Plaintiffs here now extends far beyond President Trump’s own tweets or rallies. In the current environment, President Trump’s political followers instantly unleash harassment, verbal assaults, cyberattacks, and even death threats against anyone who dares to challenge him—whether politically or in a court of law.
On Monday, Lawyers at Kaplan, Hecker & Fink made a statement along with the lawsuit that the claim “connects the dots at the Trump Organization to and involves a systematic fraud that spanned more than a decade.”
The Trump Organization has not spoken publicly yet about the accusations.