NEW YORK, N.Y. (NEWS10) — President-elect Donald Trump is ready to buy his way out of fraud allegations stemming from the now-defunct Trump University real estate education program, a source familiar with settlement negotiations told ABC News.
A potential settlement, in which Trump would admit no wrongdoing, could reach up to $25 million and would resolve three civil lawsuits — two in California and one in New York — in which Trump is a named defendant, the source said.
Attorneys for Trump recently argued that one of the California cases should be delayed, as the president-elect is busy with his transition to the highest office in the nation. A hearing is scheduled for later today in which a judge will rule on that motion.
Eric Schneiderman, the New York Attorney General who brought the case in his state, has said Trump University was a “fraud from beginning to end.” Critics, including former students and employees, have said the “university” targeted desperate people and pressured them into purchasing more and more expensive programs with less regard for actually teaching real estate business skills.
Trump and his attorneys have defended the program, saying it imparted valuable knowledge and that a vast majority of former students were happy with their experience.
Schneiderman’s office declined to comment about a potential settlement, but a spokesperson said the attorney general has “always been open to a settlement that fairly compensates the many victims of Trump University who have been waiting years for a resolution.” Representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In the wake of Trump’s victory in the presidential election, the California judge, Gonzalo Curiel, pushed earlier this month for both sides to try and reach a resolution “given all else that’s involved.” Trump previously criticized Curiel, alleging he was “totally biased” and questioning his impartiality as the son of Mexican immigrants.