President-elect Donald Trump is set to take office in just over two months, and when he does, he’ll no longer have the specter of the Trump University lawsuits hanging over him.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Friday that his office reached a $25 million settlement with Trump over the failed real estate school.
“In 2013, my office sued Donald Trump for swindling thousands of innocent Americans out of millions of dollars through a scheme known at Trump University. Donald Trump fought us every step of the way, filing baseless charges and fruitless appeals and refusing to settle for even modest amounts of compensation for the victims of his phony university,” Schneiderman said a in a statement.
“Today, that all changes,” Schneiderman continued. “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.”
The controversy surrounding Trump’s real estate school dominated the narrative during certain points of Trump’s campaign, with some describing the school, which boasted that participants could achieve Trump-like success in real estate, as fraudulent and sleazy.
In June, HousingWire’s editor-in-chief, Jacob Gaffney wrote that Trump University may have held its staffers to high standards, but questioned whether it was truly the scam it was accused of being.
Trump’s vanquished opponent, Hillary Clinton, even used the Trump University marketing materials against Trump in a campaign ad.
In the ad, a recording of Trump from 2006, reportedly taken from the Trump University materials, states that he “sort of hopes (a crash) happens because then people like me would go in and buy…if there is a bubble burst, as they call it, you know, you could make a lot of money.”
Other Clinton surrogates, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said that the recording and other Trump University materials showed that Trump rooted for the housing crisis.
Trump, for his part, continually defended Trump University, taking to Twitter on several occasions to defend the real estate school’s practices.
After the litigation is disposed of and the case won, I have instructed my execs to open Trump U(?), so much interest in it! I will be pres.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 2, 2016
Despite that boast, Trump has now agreed to settle the various civil lawsuits over Trump University.
“I am pleased that under the terms of this settlement, every victim will receive restitution and that Donald Trump will pay up to $1 million in penalties to the State of New York for violating state education laws,” Schneiderman said of the settlement. “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.”