Trump University sales tactics decried

Donald Trump listens as Michael Sexton speaks at the launch of the Trump University investment school in 2005Image copyright

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Donald Trump listens as Michael Sexton speaks at the launch of the Trump University investment school in 2005

Court documents have revealed aggressive sales tactics employed by staff at Donald Trump’s now defunct investment school.

Tips on how to push students to sign up for expensive courses were included in records released during a class-action lawsuit against Trump University.

Mr Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has denied that the school misled students.

But Hillary Clinton described the venture as a “fraudulent scheme”.

Mrs Clinton, who leads to race to be the Democratic nominee, said the former New York school was “used to prey upon those who could least afford it”.

The documents were released following an order by US District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel. They include manuals or “playbooks” for employees outlining how to “close the deal” and convince students to invest in business seminars that cost up to nearly $35,000 (£24,288).

The judge ruled that the files were in the public interest since Mr Trump had become “the front-runner in the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential race”.

Trump University is at the centre of two San Diego class-action lawsuits alleging the program defrauded students.

The unsealed files also included depositions from executives describing how the operation worked.

Students were told Trump University was looking for a “select group of people” who would receive “live, hands-on training with Donald Trump’s professional real estate instructors”.

The “playbooks” advised sales staff on a range of subjects, including how to speak to reporters, how to dress and run Trump University events, as well as how to identify students with the most liquid assets. The school offered students a three-day seminar, which cost $1,495 (£1,037), before staff members attempted to sell them on more expensive packages.

Trump University was launched in 2004 as a business venture under the Trump brand, offering courses in entrepreneurship. The extent of Mr Trump’s involvement in the scheme is a key point on contention.

It is is also facing a separate $40 million fraud case in New York, which was filed by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

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