July 26, 2017

Trump University's $25 million fraud settlement approved by federal judge

03 April 2017, 03:11 | Sue Hudson

Trump University's $25 million fraud settlement approved by federal judge

Trump University's $25 million fraud settlement approved by federal judge

A judge said Thursday he will issue a ruling at a later time on whether to accept an agreement for President Trump to pay $25 million to settle lawsuits over his 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.

Attorneys for the more than 3,700 former students in class-action suits in California and NY had urged Curiel to ratify the settlement, which refund them more than 90 cents for every dollar they spent at Trump University - arguing it's probably the best restitution they will ever get in the years-long dispute.

The case dogged President Donald Trump during the campaign, only to be settled right after the election.

Curiel approved a preliminary settlement in December, and attorneys in the case predicted the former students would get at least 80 percent of their money back, based on the roughly 3,730 claims submitted, the Associated Press reported.

In this Tuesday, March 28, 2017 photo, Sherri Simpson poses for a photo in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Trump fueled the controversy by repeatedly assailing Curiel, insinuating that the Indiana-born judge's Mexican heritage exposed a bias.

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Ms Simpson argued that she should have been given more opportunity to opt out of the settlement.

Ms Simpson, who appeared in two anti-Trump campaign ads, said they got little for their money - the videos were five years old, the materials covered information that could be found free on the internet and her mentor did not return calls or emails.

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

The White House referred requests for comment to the Trump Organization, which didn't immediately respond.

One Trump University student objected to the settlement, particular a provision blocking students from opting out of it, saying in court papers she would like to seek full recovery from Mr Trump, plus punitive damages and other relief.

In clearing those final hurdles, the president brought closure to the trio of lawsuits, the first of which was filed in April 2010.

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