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Lawsuit heading for trial shows Trump’s appeal to the easily scammed

Attorney Scott Pilutik wrestles with the news of the day, from a lawyerly perspective…

In less catastrophic times this might have gotten more attention than it’s getting now, so I’ll just mention that a lawsuit against Trump and his family filed by scammed investors survived what is probably the last hurdle before trial.

The suit was filed by “investors” in a half-baked Amway-ish company called ACN. Investors pay up front for “videophones” and other garbage that they’d have to sell and find others to sell, as well as attend and pay for bullshit conventions, etc.

The crux of the suit is that Trump and family appeared in the promotional material as disinterested third parties without disclosing their financial interest. Many people might have guessed that Trump was getting a kickback, but ACN was evidently acutely aware of Trump’s appeal to the easily scammed.


Trump’s lawyers filed motions to dismiss and when those failed filed a motion to compel arbitration, which of course they’d waived by virtue of having already engaged in substantive motion practice. Now a judge has killed that motion to compel arbitration, so a settlement might be imminent.

In the hierarchy of Trump atrocities this ranks relatively low. Yet it’s the type of thing, like Trump University, that you’d think would render one automatically disqualified for higher office.

It’s also the type of thing that actual super-wealthy people, of the sort that Trump likes to portray himself, just don’t engage in. Actual super-wealthy people like Betsy DeVos, own scams like Amway, they don’t pitch for it.

At some point, probably a few years after he’s out of office, I think we’ll eventually find out that Trump was actually net broke all along, and just juggling creditors and debt, even through his presidency.

(The latest judge’s order is here, but it’s not particularly interesting to non-lawyers, and not particularly to lawyers either.)

More background on the case here.

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