Photo: Gage Skidmore
Donald Trump has agreed to settle lawsuits charging that Trump University, which is no longer operating, used high-pressure sales tactics and employed unqualified instructors.
Under the agreement, Trump will pay $21 million to settle the two California class-action suits and $4 million to settle a lawsuit with the New York Attorney General’s Office. The settlement needs to be approved by the court, which is expected to take months.
Trump University, which operated from 2004 to 2010, included free introductory seminars across the country, focusing mostly on real estate investing and learning Trump’s methods. Students could then purchase more expensive courses costing up to $35,000.
The lawsuits became a campaign issue when Trump questioned whether the judge could be impartial due to his Mexican heritage.
By settling the lawsuits, Trump won't be required to testify in court about the Trump University charges.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman praised the settlement, saying:
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 appeals 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.