As reported by a variety of news outlets, including The Washington Times, a U.S. District judge has brought an end to the years-long legal wrangling over the controversial real estate success school known as Trump University, by approving a deal in which now-President Donald Trump will pay $25 million to settle a civil lawsuit initiated by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, as well as two class action lawsuits.
Trump University was not an actual university (it was not accredited, did not confer degrees, etc.), but, rather, the name given to a training program that sought to show enrollees how to successfully invest in real estate. As with many programs like it that are associated with showman-entrepreneurs, Trump University’s modus operandi was to offer a free introductory seminar, and then urge those attendees to pay for additional, premium trainings, some of which went for as much as $35,000 a pop.
The basis of the lawsuits, simply put, was that Trump University couldn’t deliver on the promises made that it would turn paying customers – many of whom forked over thousands of dollars to access what they believed to be privileged, “insider” information – into winning real estate investors.
Typical of the kinds of complaints lodged against Trump University by dissatisfied students are those of Sherri Simpson, an attorney from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, whose request to opt out of the settlement was denied by Judge Gonzalo Curiel. Simpson paid over $35,000 with a partner to be enrolled in the school’s “Gold Elite” program, but said there was nothing particularly insightful about the information she received, and her designated mentor did not return calls or emails.
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