Friday, July 1, 2016

Mike and Irene Milin Statement

I have been receiving a high volume of media requests for more information on Mike and Irene Milin.  I have written about these former get-rich-quick real estate gurus in the past such as here and here in this blog.

For those who do not know, the Milins have returned to the public spotlight in a huge way because of their involvement with Trump University and also having made donations to the Marco Rubio Presidential campaign.

This is my formal statement on the Milins to the media and those requesting more information from me.

Mike and Irene Milin have been fixtures on the get-rich-quick guru circuit since the 1980s.  The fact the Milins gave money to the Rubio campaign is no big deal.  The Milins are U.S. citizens and long time Republicans.  They supported Mitt Romney in 2012.  The Milins are also active on political issues involving Israel such as supporting Jewish Republicans in U.S. Congressional races.  The Milins supported Republican candidate and former Hawaii governor Linda Lingle on her unsuccessful U.S. Senate run in 2012.

The legal history of the Milins is well documented online such as in articles like this one.  Like most major real estate gurus they have had many encounters with unhappy customers, law enforcement, and regulatory agencies.  You cannot sell expensive books, programs, seminars, and home study courses that promise people easy and instant wealth and then expected still poor and now unhappy people to react calmly.

What fascinates me about the Milins is not their get-rich-quick exploits such as through Trump University but their personal politics.

How does a 1970s counterculture couple in just ten years go from radical communist SDS members advocating the violent overthrow of the United States government at Arizona State University to appearing on Robin Leach's television show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" boasting about champaign wishes and caviar dreams?

Leach would go on to star in a Milin's half hour sales infomercial called "Two Years to Financial Freedom" where the couple drove around in a Rolls Royce, exited a Lear jet, and showed off expensive houses and just about everything else that costs lots of money.  Leach would later successfully sue the Milins for copying his TV show format and promoting their wealth in other infomercials.

Again, how does one go from Karl Marx to Robin Leach in ten years?

This is the Milin book I would love to read.

The basic question I am getting from media inquiries is whether the real estate community knew all about the Milins and their reputation at the time Trump University hired them.  Sadly, the answer is yes. Whether Donald Trump, Trump University, or the Trump Organization knew is another story.

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