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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bill McCollum says Trump University concerns never reached him

Former Attorney General Bill McCollum said Wednesday that consumer complaints about Trump University/Institute never rose to his attention.

“I never heard any complaints coming to me personally through my staff or otherwise at the time I was in office,” McCollum, who served from January 2007 through January 2011, told the Tampa Bay Times.

The issue has created a political problem for his successor, Pam Bondi, who is fighting accusations she held back on investigating Trump’s real estate seminars after soliciting a $25,000 contribution from Trump.

Bondi’s office has said there were few complaints. But more than a few came into the AG’s office under McCollum. Trump Institute was based in Boca Raton but held seminars in various states.

“I would also appreciate it if you would compel the Trump Institute: Business Strategies Group to return the $1,997.94 to my American Express,” read a complaint from a Connecticut woman in early 2010. “They have been very rude when I call and will not give me any idea when they will return the money to the American Express card. They treat me as though I have no right to call the company.”

McCollum said such complaints would have fallen to the economic crimes unit to look into and that it never reached him.

“Without knowing anything more, it’s unfair for me to speculate,” he said when asked if the allegations of fraud concerned him.

In one internal exchange, an official in McCollum’s economic crimes unit was asked about Trump University.

“Never heard of it,” the official wrote to a colleague, adding, “(and glad I didn't go there).”

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 8, 2016 4:16pm]


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