Trump, Eldest Sons to Be Deposed in Lawsuit Alleging Promotion of Multi-Level Marketing Scam
© YouTube/Fox 11 Los Angeles ACN featured on "The Celebrity Apprentice," hosted by executive producer Donald Trump
Between 2006 and the announcement of his presidential campaign in 2015, Donald Trump held a working relationship with the American Communications Network (ACN), a multi-level marketing company that has been the recipient of multiple allegations of illegal business practices in its acquisition of new clients and sales of its products.
Former US President Donald Trump and his two eldest sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, have acknowledged that they must deliver depositions in May and June as part of a class-action lawsuit alleging that the Trumps actively collaborated with a fraudulent marketing company.
Donald Trump Jr. will be the first to appear for deposition on May 10, per the agreement, while Eric Trump and the former US president agreed to give their respective depositions on May 12 and June 16.
A date for questioning remains pending for Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump.
According to the suit, filed in 2018, Trump and his three eldest children pocketed millions as they used a series of promotional tactics, including the hit NBC reality TV show “The Celebrity Apprentice,” to promote several shady endeavors, including ACN Opportunity, the Trump Network and other failed ventures.
The initial complaint detailed that investors of the company, including the four individuals behind the suit, were charged $499 to register with the company, which promised the prospect of flipping that fee through earnings made via product sale commissions.
The company encouraged investors to hold small events for family and friends, as well as “motivational rallies” to identify leads and recruit other investors. Those who did the latter were promised a cut of their referral’s profits.
© YouTubeAmerican Communications Network (ACN) video telephone
American Communications Network (ACN) video telephone
Donald Trump was a consistent fixture in ACN’s promotional videos.
In addition to DVD appearances and live interviews on the MLM company, Trump also featured ACN in episodes of “The Celebrity Apprentice” that debuted in 2009 and 2011.
Trump’s tax returns detail that he was paid $8,768,330 to shill for ACN.
The latest court filing revealed that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), the company that produced the NBC reality show, granted lawyers unaired footage from the show to use in the lawsuit against Trump and his adult children.
“Plaintiffs have completed their on-site review of unaired footage from two episodes of The Celebrity Apprentice, and have designated certain footage (under 50% of the total footage) that Plaintiffs believe is relevant for copying, with Plaintiffs bearing the reasonable costs," lawyers wrote in a March 25 filing.
"Nonparties Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and JMBP, LLC have copied and provided in full the media assets designated by Plaintiffs during the initial phase of their review."
Both Trump and ACN have denied doing anything illegal, with the latter claiming in 2021 that it was “unfortunate” that the “ACN name and business have been impugned in connection with this politically-motivated and funded lawsuit.”
Since 2015, Trump has been trying to distance himself from the MLM company. While prepping his presidential campaign in August 2015, the former TV host told the Wall Street Journal that he was not aware of the company, despite having accepting millions of dollars from it.
“I know nothing about the company other than the people who run the company,” Trump claimed. “I'm not familiar with what they do or how they go about doing that, and I make that clear in my speeches.”
A 2005 interview begs to differ.
“We do a lot of research on companies before we agree to do something like I'm doing for you, and ACN is a great company,” Trump is heard saying to Greg Provenzano, co-founder of the MLM company.
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