A Manhattan judge on Wednesday dismissed claims that President Trump and his eldest children broke federal racketeering laws by promoting marketing opportunities that brought thousands in losses for investors, but allowed state claims to proceed.
The plaintiffs claimed in a 2018 class-action lawsuit that Trump Corporation, Donald Trump, Don Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump received millions in secret payments by promoting a multilevel marketing company called American Communications Network.
President Trump speaks to the media about the testimony of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller to Congress. (AP)
Trump endorsed the company in speeches and on "The Celebrity Apprentice."
The plaintiffs claimed they lost thousands of dollars because the products went bust, and sought unspecified money damages for alleged fraud and racketeering, Reuters reported.
U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield dismissed racketeering claims, citing a lack of evidence, but allowed the plaintiffs to pursue claims of fraud, unfair competition and deceptive trade practices.
The Trumps filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which they called politically motivated. Joanna Hendon, a lawyer for the Trumps, said earlier this month that the family expected to request that the plaintiffs’ claims be moved into arbitration, even if the class-action lawsuit were not dismissed.
"We are delighted by the court's decision," Hendon told Reuters. "The RICO claims were baseless and should never have been brought, and we look forward to dispensing with the rest of the case."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.