Settlement Said To Be Near In Trump University Lawsuits


New York: Donald Trump is close to reaching a $20 million settlement to end two class-action lawsuits accusing his Trump University of having been a fraud, a source close to the case said Friday.

An out-of-court deal with students who enrolled in the training program would spare the president-elect from the opening of a trial in California on November 28, although his team has been pushing for a delay on the grounds that he could not interrupt preparations for his inauguration on January 20.

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The settlement would also put an end to legal proceedings brought by the attorney general of New York state, Eric Schneiderman.
The six-year-old lawsuit brought by former students alleges that now-defunct Trump University — which was not an accredited college or university — fleeced students by tricking them with aggressive marketing.

Students paid as much as $35,000 to enroll, believing they would make it big in real estate after being taught by experts hand-picked by Trump, the suit says. Trump’s lawyers counter that many students have given the program a thumbs-up and those who failed to succeed have only themselves to blame. The school operated from 2005 to 2011.

Trump has said for some time that he does not fear a trial, insisting it would give him a chance to clear his name. But at a hearing in Los Angeles last week, Trump’s lawyer said he was willing to settle out of court. A spokesman for the New York attorney general indicated he would also find a settlement acceptable.

“As Attorney General Schneiderman has long said, he has always been open to a settlement that fairly compensates the many victims of Trump University who have been waiting years for a resolution,” spokesman Eric Soufer said.

Trump attacked the judge handling the case, Gonzalo Curiel, during his presidential campaign, saying the US-born judge could not be impartial because of his Mexican roots. Trump cited as reasons his campaign promises to build a wall along the US border with Mexico and deport the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States.