Former students at President-elect Donald Trump’s now defunct for-profit Trump University got some good news late last week. Trump has agreed to pay $25 million as part of a settlement resolving three outstanding lawsuits against him.
The lawsuits came after a New York state appeals court reinstated a 2013 fraud claim alleging Trump defrauded students of millions of dollars while promising they would learn his secrets to succeed in the real estate business. The deal includes no admission of wrongdoing, but as part of the agreement, Trump will pay $1 million in penalties to the state of New York for labeling his nonaccredited school a “university” without registering as an educational institution with New York state officials, thereby violating state education laws. Further, all 6,000 students who were enrolled in Trump University will be eligible to receive some compensation; how much will depend on how much they paid for courses.
“Lawyers for the plaintiffs suggested some could receive close to $30,000,” according to a Yahoo article.
The announcement came after days of what has been described as frantic negotiations that began after Trump was elected president. Yahoo reported the first of the three lawsuits was scheduled to begin in U.S. Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s courtroom on Nov. 28, but Trump’s lawyers had filed motions requesting the trial date be postponed, as their client was busily assembling his new administration and was therefore unable to testify in a civil trial.
“The ONLY bad thing about winning the Presidency is that I did not have the time to go through a long but winning trial on Trump U. Too bad!” Trump tweeted on Nov. 19.
The final terms of the agreement were presented to Judge Curiel on Friday afternoon. For it to move forward, Curiel must still approve the settlement, and preliminary approval could take as few as 30 days or draw out to more than 60 days.
Kellye Whitney is associate editorial director for Chief Learning Officer. To comment, email editor@CLOmedia.com.