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Donald Trump settles Trump University fraud cases for $25 million

Over 6,000 Trump University students will finally get their money back from US president-elect Donald Trump's now-defunct real estate school.
BY Uttara Choudhury |   19-11-2016

In the not-too-distant past, US President-elect Donald Trump vowed to fight lawsuits against Trump University, but he did an abrupt volte-face on Friday by agreeing to a $25 million settlement to resolve three fraud cases against Trump University, his now-defunct real estate school.

The deal announced on Friday by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would settle a lawsuit he filed three years ago, plus two class-action lawsuits in California filed on behalf of former Trump University students.

Schneiderman said the settlement includes a $1 million penalty paid to New York for violating the state’s education laws by calling the program a “university” despite offering no degrees or traditional education. Trump University had no college accreditation either.

The settlement will benefit over 6,000 students who enrolled in Trump University's real estate, asset management, entrepreneurship and wealth creation courses, which cost between $1,500 for seminars and $35,000 for an extended mentorship.

The Trump University case was a political hot potato during the presidential campaign. Trump said the students got their money’s worth in dozens of interviews and stump speeches and insisted he would never settle. Friday's deal does not require Trump to acknowledge wrongdoing.

Trump's attorney Daniel Petrocelli said Trump was pleased to settle and focus on his work as president-elect.

"While we have no doubt that Trump University would have prevailed at trial based on the merits of this case, resolution of these matters allows President-elect Trump to devote his full attention to the important issues facing our great nation,” Petrocelli emphasized.

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, however described the settlement as “a stunning reversal by Donald Trump" and a major "victory for the over 6,000 victims of his fraudulent university.”

"In 2013, my office sued Donald Trump for swindling thousands of innocent Americans out of ​millions of dollars through a scheme known at Trump University. Donald Trump fought us every step of the way, filing baseless charges and fruitless appeal​s​and refusing to settle for even modest amounts of compensation for the victims of his phony university. Today, that all changes," Schneiderman said in a statement.

Schneiderman has been relentless in his prosecution of Trump University, calling the business venture that reportedly brought in $40 million, “a fraud from beginning to end.”

The trial in the Trump University class-action lawsuit was set to begin on November 28.

"The Washington Post" explained why Trump suddenly had a change of heart: "The Trump University settlement appears to fit a pattern in which lawyers for the president-elect are working to reduce the number of his legal entanglements before he takes office."

 

Uttara Choudhury is Editor, North America for TV 18’s Firstpost news site. In 1997, she went on the British Chevening Scholarship to study Journalism in the University of Westminster, in London. 

 

Related stories:
Trump win unnerves Indian students as backlash rocks US campuses
 
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Roh Roy
It's disgraceful that the future president of America bilked and cheated students.
21 November 2016


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