A federal judge denied another request by President-elect Donald Trump to throw out a lawsuit against his Jupiter golf club for allegedly bilking club members out of an estimated $6 million in deposits.
Trump has been able to maneuver his way out of going to trial for the lawsuit against Trump University by settling for $25 million
, but the Palm Beach Post
reports our penny-pinching Billionaire-in-Chief is not being let off the hook by U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Marra.
In the 2013 lawsuit against the Trump National Golf Club, about 150 club members
say Trump didn't return their refundable deposits, ranging from $35,000 to $210,000, after he bought the club from the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club & Spa for $5 million in 2012. The Post
"Donald Trump, who at the time was campaigning as the Republican presidential nominee, did not appear at trial. But his deposition was entered into the record. In it, he described how the Trump Organization had revived the club.
'We have done a substantial upgrade to virtually all the facility: the clubhouse, the courts, the course, the public areas, the dining areas. Everything,' Trump said in an April deposition. 'It’s like a brand-new place.'
Donald Trump sent a Dec. 17, 2013, letter to club members that is a key piece of evidence in the case. In that letter, Trump said Ritz members could 'opt in' to his new club, in exchange for agreeing their memberships were nonrefundable.
If members weren’t interested in opting in, and they remained on a club resignation list, Trump said he didn’t want them, anyway.
'You’re probably not going to be a very good club member … you’re out,' Trump wrote in the letter. 'As the owner of the club, I do not want them to utilize the club nor do I want their dues.'
Marra has already denied a previous request from Trump to throw out the lawsuit. During a trial for the case in August, Trump's lawyers say members had resigned from the club, which means they didn't have a right to keep using the club. The Palm Beach Post
reports Judge Marra has yet to make a decision in the trial.