A San Diego judge has approved a $25 million settlement over lawsuits pertaining to the now defunct Trump University. This brings an end to 7 years of lawsuits from students who claimed to be “misled” by the University, which promised to teach them success in real estate.
This brings an end to two class-actions lawsuits and another civil lawsuit brought on by New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Trump said he wouldn’t settle in any of his lawsuits, because he did nothing wrong, and didn’t believe in it. However with the election and the presidency, he has found it impossible to continue fighting in court, and officials believe it may not have been successful.
The Daily Mail reports further:
A judge has approved an agreement for President Donald Trump to pay $25million to settle lawsuits over his now-defunct Trump University.
The decision Friday by U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel in San Diego ends nearly seven years of legal battles with customers who claimed they were misled by failed promises to teach success in real estate.
The ruling settles two class-action lawsuits and a civil lawsuit by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Schneiderman had previously called Trump University a ‘fraud from beginning to end.’
Trump had vowed never to settle but said after the election that he didn’t have time for a trial, even though he believed he would have prevailed. Under terms of the settlement, he admits no wrongdoing.
Attorneys for the customers say thousands will get at least 90 per cent of their money back.
The $25 million, to be paid by Trump or one of his business entities, include restitution for students and $1 million in penalties to the state, Schneiderman said.
Trump University was launched in 2005 and closed five years later amid growing legal troubles.
Former students have bashed the university in recent months, with some of them calling it a scam that had robbed them of up to $35,000 apiece for useless real estate classes.
Attorneys for the president-elect had previously tried to get one of the California suits delayed while Trump was busy negotiating his transition into his presidency.
Trump had said he wouldn’t settle the case because he thought it would be easy to win in court.
The president had also lambasted the judge in charge of the case, Curiel, claiming Curiel’s Mexican heritage meant the judge couldn’t possibly treat him fairly.
Trump had repeatedly denied the fraud allegations during his presidential campaign.
‘Do you know that almost everybody in the lawsuit has signed a letter saying how great the school was? That’s why I won’t settle because it’s an easy case to win in court,’ Trump said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe earlier this year.
Trump’s legal team at one point tried to have comments he made throughout the election excluded from the trial, claiming his tweets and outlandish remarks towards women, minorities and other groups could affect his credibility. Their motion was denied.
Former students say they were lured by false promises that Trump had ‘handpicked’ tutors for courses in real estate.
Seminars were more akin to infomercials, they said, and they were never given access to the businessman and his industry ‘secrets’ as promised.