Judge Approves Trump University $25 million Settlement Case [VIDEO]By Anne Collins, UniversityHerald Reporter
The final approval to a $25 million settlement to litigation against Trump University was given on Friday by US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel. The now-defund real estate seminar program was once owned by Donald Trump. He agreed not long after his election to settle two class-action suits that were filed by former customers of the program in California and New York.
The lawsuit claimed that Trump University defrauded customers who paid more than $30,000 to participate in the seminars. They were given false advertisements and were promised they would learn Trump's personal real estate tricks that Trump had hand-picked seminar leaders. Trump acknowledged that he did not choose the instructors.
Trump University victims waited seven years for compensation. The settlement was endangered after Sherri Simpson, a former student at Trump University, argued that she should be allowed to opt out of the agreement and continue litigation against Trump. Simpson felt distressed that the settlement did not require Trump to admit fault and apologize.
The ruling in San Diego settled two lawsuits and a civil lawsuit from New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. He claimed that Trump University was not licensed when it began operation in 2005 according to CBS Local.
Curiel said that the settlement was fair and adequate. He said that many of the former customers are likely to recover 80 or 90 percent of the amount they spent on the program. The settlement will be available to more than 5,000 former customers of the program according to The Washington Post.
The ruling provided finality for the matter. Trump had worked to settle civil matters before taking office by settling a number of suits that was pending for years.
For violating the state's education laws by calling the program a university despite offering no degrees or traditional education, the $25 million included a penalty of $1 million that was paid to the state of New York. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the settlement would provide relief to the victims of Trump's fraudulent university.