Trump agrees to $25M settlement to resolve lawsuits
SAN DIEGO (AP):
President-elect Donald Trump agreed Friday to pay US$25 million (or more than J$3.2 billion) to settle several lawsuits against his now-defunct school for real estate investors, averting a trial in a potentially embarrassing case that he had vowed during the campaign to keep fighting.
If approved by a judge, the deal announced by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would lay to rest allegations that Trump University defrauded students who paid up to US$35,000 to enrol in programs that promised to share Trump's secrets of the real estate industry.
The deal would settle a lawsuit Schneiderman filed three years ago and two class-action lawsuits filed in California on behalf of former students.
The complaints accused the programme of misleading students by calling itself a university when it was not an accredited school and by saying that Trump "hand-picked" instructors.
Trump has denied the allegations and repeatedly said he would not settle. He told supporters at a May rally that he would come to San Diego to testify after winning the presidency.
"I could have settled this case numerous times, but I don't want to settle cases when we're right. I don't believe in it. And when you start settling cases, you know what happens? Everybody sues you because you get known as a settler. One thing about me, I am not known as a settler," Trump said at the time.
The deal does not require Trump to acknowledge wrongdoing.
In a statement, Trump's attorneys said they had "no doubt" that Trump University would have prevailed in a trial, but "resolution of these matters allows President-elect Trump to devote his full attention to the important issues facing our great nation."