Make It Go Away: Trump to Settle Trump University Fraud Case

Make It Go Away: Trump to Settle Trump University Fraud Case
FILE- In this May 23, 2005, file photo, Donald Trump, left, listens as Michael Sexton introduces him at a news conference in New York where he announced the establishment of Trump University. The manual for Trump University events was precise: the room temperature should be 68 degrees. Seats should be arranged in a theater-style curve. And staff should only provide records to an attorney general if compelled by subpoena. Instructing employees how to stall law enforcement investigations might seem like an unusual part of running a seminar company, but at Trump University it was par for the course. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

It makes sense that Trump would want to sew this one up and get it off of his back before January.

After vowing not to give in and not to settle, the President-elect has apparently decided that his best option would be to settle the class action lawsuit brought against him, in regards to his fraudulent, for-profit school, Trump University.

In a complete turnaround from his previous position, President-elect Donald Trump is nearing a settlement of the fraud cases brought in New York and California involving his now defunct for-profit Trump University, the Daily News has learned.

Under the emerging deal being negotiated by Trump’s lawyers, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the law firm that brought a class action lawsuit regarding Trump University in California, the president-elect will agree to pay between $20 million and $25 million to settle the matter, a source with knowledge of the situation said.

Trump will not admit to any wrongdoing in the final agreement, which could be announced as soon as Friday, the source said.

So that was his takeaway – he gets to pay it off and doesn’t have to admit he was running a scam on single parents and retirees, who were hoping to learn to be businessmen and women.

A second class action suit was set to begin in California just a few days from now. Trump’s impending inauguration may have been the impetus for rushing through the settlement.

Schneiderman spokesman Eric Soufer wouldn’t comment on the specifics, but said “as Attorney General Schneiderman has long said, he has always been open to a settlement that fairly compensates the many victims of Trump University who have been waiting years for a resolution.” A lawyer for Trump could not be reached for comment.

Schneiderman in 2013 brought a fraud lawsuit against Trump University claiming that the school was nothing but a scam designed to make money for Trump by falsely promising wannabe real estate developers they would learn the tricks of the trade from Trump and his hand-picked teachers.

Instead, those who enrolled were pressured to take more expensive programs from people not selected by Trump. The closest they got to Trump himself was when they were able to take a picture with a cardboard cutout of him, Schneiderman alleged.

The initial sum sought was $40 million, but the $20 to $25 million will cover the losses of over 5,000 students from New York and California.

The “school” closed in 2010, and many of the victims have been waiting since 2012 for some kind of resolution to their case.

Schneiderman called Trump U a “scam from beginning to end,” and has pushed hard against it. He estimated Trump’s haul was somewhere around $5 million, which went straight into his pocket.

Other AGs, such as Florida’s Pam Bondi considered joining the suit, but quickly dropped the case, only later to have it revealed that Trump made a considerable contribution to her reelection campaign.

“Using false promises to prey on desperate people has long been a hallmark of ‘snake-oil salesmen,’” Schneiderman said this past July. “A lawsuit by my office alleges that Donald Trump was basically doing the same thing with Trump University.”

Knowledge of the lawsuit didn’t hurt Trump at the polls. Nothing did.

The interesting part comes with seeing if he carries the same level of ethics into the Oval office.


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