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But Trump instituted a new rule, barring those on the list from using the club. “As the owner of the club, I do not want them to utilize the club nor do I want their dues,” he wrote in a letter to members.
Then, a few months later, he began charging them dues anyway — even though, as his son Eric testified, paying with no access to the club “would violate a fundamental rule of life,” the judge noted.
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Marra found that the golf course had effectively revoked the membership of those on the resignation list but had failed to return deposits that ranged from $35,000 to $210,000. He ordered the club to return $4,849,000 in deposits, plus $925,010 in interest.
The Trump Organization intends to appeal.
“The plaintiffs were all members under Ritz-Carlton who resigned before Trump purchased the Club. At the time Trump purchased the Club, it was suffering financially, making it unlikely that these members would ever get back their deposits,” it said in a statement.
“At trial, we presented overwhelming evidence that the plaintiffs’ memberships were never recalled and that the plaintiffs had waived this argument during the course of the litigation. For these reasons and more, we will be filing an appeal.”