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$25 million settlement agreement reached in Trump University case

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
NEW YORK – U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will spend $25 million to settle a lawsuit in connection to his Trump University real estate seminars.

Donald J. Trump tweeted early Saturday: “I settled the Trump University lawsuit for a small fraction of the potential award because as President I have to focus on our country.”

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued the following statement on the $25 million settlement agreement reached in Trump University case:

In 2013, my office sued Donald Trump for swindling thousands of innocent Americans out of ​millions of dollars through a scheme known as 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. 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.

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. The victims of Trump University have waited years for today’s result and I am pleased that their patience–and persistence–will be rewarded by this $25 million settlement.

Two class action lawsuits in California included these details:

The Cohen (Nationwide) Action: A Trump University “student” sued Donald J. Trump (“Trump”) for falsely or misleadingly promising access to his real estate techniques taught by his “hand-picked” professors and adjunct professors at his elite university. Mr. Cohen alleges that Trump’s failure to deliver at Trump University “Live Events,” including 3-day seminars and mentorships, violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”).

The Low (California/Florida/New York) Action: In a separate case, other “students” sued Trump University, LLC (“Trump University”) and Trump for similarly promising, but failing to deliver on Trump’s real estate secrets at his “university” Live Events, or provide the mentoring promised, in violation of state consumer protection, false advertising and elder financial abuse laws.

In June, Donald Trump had this to say about this on-going legal entanglements with Trump University lawsuits:

Over the past few weeks, I have watched as the media has reported one inaccuracy after another concerning the ongoing litigation involving Trump University. There are several important facts the public should know and that the media has failed to report.

Throughout the litigation my attorneys have continually demonstrated that students who participated in Trump University were provided a substantive, valuable education based upon a curriculum developed by professors from Northwestern University, Columbia Business School, Stanford University and other respected institutions. And, the response from students was overwhelming. Over a five year period, more than 10,000 paying students filled out surveys giving the courses high marks and expressing their overwhelming satisfaction with Trump University’s programs. For example:

Former student Tarla Makaeff, the original plaintiff in the litigation, not only completed multiple surveys rating Trump University’s three-day seminar “excellent” in every category, but also praised Trump University’s mentorship program in a glowing 5 plus minute video testimonial. When asked “how could Trump University help to meet [her] goals”, she simply stated “[c]ontinue to offer great classes.” Once the plaintiffs’ lawyers realized how disastrous a witness she was, they asked to have her removed from the case. Over my lawyers’ objections, the judge granted the plaintiffs’ motion, but allowed the case to continue.

Art Cohen, a lead plaintiffs in the litigation, completed a survey in which he not only rated Trump University’s three-day seminar “excellent” in virtually every category, but went so far as to indicate that he would “attend another Trump University seminar” and even “recommend Trump University seminars to a friend.” When asked how Trump University could improve the seminar, Mr. Cohen’s only suggestion was to “[h]ave lunch sandwiches brought in” and make the lunch break 45 minutes.

Former student Bob Giullo, who has been critical of Trump University in numerous interviews and negative advertisements from my political opponents, also expressed his satisfaction, rating Trump University’s programs “excellent” in every category. When asked how Trump University could improve its programs, Mr. Giullo simply asked that students be provided “more comfortable chairs.”

Indeed, these are just a few of literally thousands of positive surveys, all of which can be viewed online at www.98percentapproval.com.

For those students who decided that Trump University’s programs were not for them, the company had a generous refund policy, offering a full refund to any student who asked for their money back within 3 days of signing up for a program or by the end of the first day of any multi-day program, whichever came later.

Normally, legal issues in a civil case would be heard in a neutral environment. However, given my unique circumstances as nominee of the Republican Party and the core issues of my campaign that focus on illegal immigration, jobs and unfair trade, I have concerns as to my ability to receive a fair trial.

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