Trump settles university lawsuit with $25 mn payout

Students paid as much as $35,000 to enroll, wrongly believing they would make it big in real estate after being taught by experts hand-picked by Trump, the suit said. Photograph:( Reuters )

New York, NY, United States Nov 18, 2016, 09.55 PM (IST)

US President-elect Donald Trump has reached a $25 million settlement in class action suits that saw his now-defunct Trump University accused of fraud -- a deal that will spare him the embarrassment of further legal wrangling as he forms his government.

"Today's $25 million settlement agreement is a stunning reversal by Donald Trump and a major victory for the over 6,000 victims of his fraudulent university," New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.

Today's $25 million settlement agreement is a stunning reversal by Donald Trump and a major victory for the over 6,000 victims of his fraudulent university,' New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman said
×

 

"I am pleased that under the terms of this settlement, every victim will receive restitution and that Donald Trump will pay up to $1 million in penalties to the State of New York for violating state education laws."

A spokesperson for Schneiderman's office said the settlement covers all three cases against Trump University: two in California and one in New York.

The agreement came just an hour before a hearing in a San Diego federal court was about to begin to decide on a request by Trump -- who is currently holding daily consultations on his new cabinet -- to delay the trial.

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, wrongly 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.

In February, Trump tweeted that the program had a 98 percent approval rating: "I could have settled but won't out of principal!"

(AFP)