Despite Donald Trump‘s campaign trail vows that he would not settle lawsuits pertaining to his Trump University, the president-elect’s legal team have ultimately decided to pay $25 million to settle the outstanding class-action suits in California and New York, according to Reuters.
“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,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said. “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.”
In July, Schneiderman said of the Trump University scandal, “Using false promises to prey on desperate people has long been a hallmark of ‘snake-oil salesmen.’ A lawsuit by my office alleges that Donald Trump was basically doing the same thing with Trump University.”
The trial phase of the California suit was set to begin November 28th. Trump’s lawyers had pushed to get the trial moved until after his inauguration, until both sides agreed to step up their efforts to reach a settlement, the New York Daily News reports.
Schneiderman first filed the class-action lawsuit against Trump in 2013; Trump promptly called him “lightweight” and added that the lawsuit was “pathetic.”
One of the many controversies that hounded Trump on the campaign trail, Trump University, which operated between 2005 to 2010, was back under the microscope this summer after U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel unsealed 400 pages worth of documents related to the mogul’s real estate seminar; Trump responded by questioning whether Curiel’s Mexican heritage created an “absolute conflict.”
“While Trump University claimed it wanted to help consumers make money in real estate, in fact Trump University was only interested in selling every person the most expensive seminars they possibly could,” one former sales director, Ronald Schnackenberg, said of the for profit education program in his testimony.