Trump University fraud case settled for $25m

Trump University fraud case settled for $25m

Trump University fraud case settled for $25m

A USA federal judge in California on Friday gave final approval to an accord requiring President Donald Trump to pay $25 million to settle lawsuits against now-defunct Trump University.

Students paid as much as $35,000 to enroll at Trump University - in operation from 2005 to 2011 - wrongly believing they would make it big in real estate after being taught by the Manhattan property tycoon's hand-picked experts.

The ruling settles two class-action lawsuits and a civil lawsuit by NY attorney general Eric Schneiderman.

Thousands of students said they had been scammed by the expensive Trump University classes.

He said the plaintiffs "waited years for compensation while President Trump refused to settle and fought us every step of the way - until his stunning reversal last fall".

For his part, Trump has denied any wrongdoing, and made it clear that he only settled the lawsuit because he won the election, calling it "The ONLY bad thing about winning the Presidency".

The only hiccup in the settlement, oddly enough, came from one of the people about to get most of their money back, with plaintiff Sherri Simpson arguing that she should be allowed to opt out of the class-action suit so that she can sue Trump personally.

Plaintiff attorneys say about 3,730 people will get at least 90 percent of their money back. Trump suggested that the judge's Mexican heritage exposed a bias, since Trump campaigned on building a wall between the USA and Mexico.

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Curiel also overruled an objection brought by Florida attorney Sherri Simpson, which threatened the settlement's approval.

The lawsuits alleged Trump University offered seminars that were more like infomercials, pressuring customers to spend more and, in the end, failing to deliver.

Trump University dogged the Republican businessman throughout the campaign as rivals used his depositions and extensive documents filed in the lawsuits to portray him as dishonest and deceitful.

Curiel agreed with attorneys for Trump and those suing him that customers were properly warned that the deadline to opt out was in November 2015.

Another customer, Harold Doe, objected because he wanted more money.

His final approval would bring closure to the trio of lawsuits, the first of which was filed in 2010.

Trump has said that he plans to reopen Trump University at some later date.

Simpson, who filmed anti-Trump ads during the presidential campaign, has insisted that she wants an apology from the president.

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