Former members of Trump National Jupiter are one step closer to getting their money back.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra issued a ruling in favor of the ex-members of President Trump’s club who filed a suit against the club for changing membership rules after Trump’s purchase of the club in 2012. The former members were awarded $4.8 million in addition to $925,000 in interest.
Here’s the situation: Trump bought the club from The Ritz-Carlton back in 2012 for $5 million. The agreement was that Trump was on the hook for the $41 million in refundable deposits members were owed. The members argued that Trump didn’t give them their deposits back, kept charging them membership fees and didn’t let them use the club.
According to the Palm Beach Post, “Contrary to Ritz-Carlton’s policies, Trump ownership rules bar members from the club once they announce their intentions to resign. Even though they can’t use the club, they are still billed $8,000 to $20,000 a year for dues and must pay an $1,800 annual fee for food and beverages. Because most have to wait until five new members join before their deposit will be refunded, those bills will continue to mount for years.”
In a statement, the Trump Organization spokesman said, “We respectfully disagree with the Court’s decision. 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. 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.”