Donald Trump’s agreement to pay 25 million dollars to victims of his Trump University fraud and racketeering scheme has been approved and made final by a federal appeals court today, ending eight years of class-action litigation.
Three thousand, seven hundred people duped by Donald Trump’s deceptive and unfair business practices will receive 90% of their money back. One TrumpU student had appealed the settlement because she wasn’t given the chance to opt-out of the class-action suit after the final figures were decided, and she wanted to take the case to trial, but that ended today.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs noted that today’s ruling is a ‘feather in the cap’ for Trump’s bête noire, federal judge Gonzalo Curiel. Coincidentally, Curiel just got assigned preside over a new legal challenge which could determine the immediate future of the President’s beloved border wall. The Union-Tribune reports:
Jason Forge of San Diego law firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, who helped represent the students… said the more subtle victory in the 9th Circuit’s ruling is the vindication it gave U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who shepherded the two cases through San Diego federal court and approved the settlement. Early in the case, Indiana-born Curiel took a verbal lashing by candidate Trump, who seemed to complain he was being treated unfairly because Curiel was “Mexican” and “Spanish” and suggested Curiel had opposing views on immigration and the border wall.
“It’s overdue and well deserved,” Forge said. “He did everything right with this case.”
“This has been an incredibly long, hard fight — and today’s ruling brings thousands of Americans one step closer to finally putting Trump University behind them,” said Amber Eck at Haeggquist & Eck, one of the lawyers who represented the class.
Trump’s high-pressure sales pitch encouraged “students” of his unaccredited “university” to max out their credit cards to pay him. The “mentors” he lied about hand-picking, had little or no business experience worth sharing, let alone worth selling to the public.
Trump University was the President’s first national fraud scheme and grew out of the false front of business success that NBC’s producers created for entertainment purposes on “The Apprentice” reality TV show.
But Donald Trump didn’t just defraud students after NBC cleaned him up, he took advantage of his newfound image of respectableness to get involved in a reality TV crime selling the Trump SoHo Hotel, a massive racket near Manhattan’s famed Lower East Side neighborhood. The Trump brand was excised from that hotel late last year, because the Trump brand scared off legitimate clientele, tanking the business.
It’s baffling that federal investigators haven’t descended on the President – every major newspaper in Florida called for just that to happen – over his overt political bribery and illegal donations to state attorneys general to avoid criminal charges in the TrumpU case.
After today’s ruling and eight long years fighting Trump in court, today’s ruling finally lets his victims get some financial restitution.
But no amount of money can undo the irreparable harm they suffered for making the tragic mistake of trusting Donald Trump and believing that he had any real business skills besides being born a trust fund baby.