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  1. ITV Report

Donald Trump settles university fraud lawsuits for $25m

Donald Trump has agreed to settle fraud lawsuits. Credit: PA

Donald Trump has agreed to settle fraud lawsuits relating to his now defunct Trump University for $25 million (£20 million).

Lawyers for the president-elect have been arguing against students who claim they were lured into paying up to $35,000 (£28,000) to learn Mr Trump's "secrets" to successful property investment from his "hand-picked" instructors.

Mr Trump will pay up to $1 million in penalties to the State of New York for violating state education laws. He has always denied any wrongdoing and has said that most students gave the classes high ratings.

The three lawsuits relating to Trump University:

  • Two class actions suits in California
  • A case brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
  • All of the cases would be covered in the settlement.

Mr Schneiderman said it was a "stunning reversal by Donald Trump" who he claimed was guilty of "swindling thousands of innocent Americans out of millions of dollars".

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 phoney 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. 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.

– Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman
Protesters holding anti-Trump banners outside court. Credit: APTN
  • Trump attorney: Settlement 'a good one all around'

Daniel Petrocelli, Trump's lead attorney said the settlement was "a good one all around" and would enable the President-elect to focus on the job ahead.

Trump's attorney Daniel Petrocelli speaks outside the courthouse Credit: Reuters

"He (Trump) had very strong feelings about this case but he was willing to put his personal interests and his personal beliefs aside and focus on the issues that are facing the country."

"A very important part of our willingness to compromise this case was the acknowledgement that there was no fault or liability on the part of President-elect Trump or Trump University," he added.

US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over the two California cases, had urged both sides to settle.

Judge Curiel was at the centre of one of Mr Trump's most controversial election campaign moments when he claimed the judge could not be impartial as he was born to Mexican parents.