Judge approves $25 million Trump University settlement

Almost 4,000 former students submitted claims and those who are eligible could get back about 90% of their money.

Under the terms of the settlement, Mr Trump does not admit any wrongdoing.

As regular readers may recall, Trump's attorneys insisted that aspiring investors learned valuable lessons with which most students were satisfied. The controversy was further fueled by Trump accusing the judge of bias due to Curiel's Mexican heritage.

Attorneys for the former customers noted that Simpson was the only one to express confusion.

President Donald Trump speaks at a women's empowerment panel, Wednesday, March 29, 2017, in the East Room of the White House in Washington.

"Over the past seven years, our goal has always has been to help these everyday Americans move forward with their lives", attorney Amber Eck said.

Donald Trump, whose claims for his presidential candidacy rested in large part on his self-proclaimed real-estate and investing prowess, rebuffed the claims of fraud during the campaign and vowed to fight them until the end.

The ruling from Judge Gonzalo Curiel, seen by AFP, ends three lawsuits relating to Trump University, affecting around 4,000 claimants.

"But for those people who were involved in this case and for those who have criticised his handling of what was called his university, this is an example of his fraudulent activity as a businessman and it's another criticism, certainly from people who didn't agree with him during his campaign, that he's not fit to be president". If he had agreed, the prospect of more litigation would have likely derailed the deal.

Sherri Simpson, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, attorney, said she and a partner paid 35,000 dollars in 2010 to enrol in Trump University's "Gold Elite" programme, to be paired with a mentor who would teach them Mr Trump's secret real estate investment strategies.

"We believe we could do a lot better in trial", Simpson's attorney Gary Friedman said Thursday while the judge was still considering her objection. Attorneys for Trump and those suing him say the deadline to opt out was in November 2015 and that she missed her chance.

Customers were "provided, in no uncertain terms, notice of the right to opt out, and of the binding consequences of electing not to opt out", Curiel wrote. Another customer, Harold Doe, objected to the settlement because he wants more money, according to court filings by attorneys for Trump and the plaintiffs.

Clearing that final hurdle brought closure to the trio of lawsuits, the first of which was filed in April 2010.

The agreement came 10 days before a trial was set to begin, sparing Trump what would have been a major distraction during his transition to the White House.

  • Zachary Reyes