SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Donald Trump will testify after the presidential election on a class-action lawsuit that accuses the billionaire businessman and his now-defunct Trump University of defrauding people who paid up to $35,000 for real estate seminars.
A federal judge in San Diego on Friday set a Nov. 28 trial. Trump lawyer Daniel Petrocelli says the presumptive GOP nominee plans to attend most, if not all, of trial and will take the witness stand.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman alleged that Trump University was unlicensed since it began operating in 2005 and promised lessons with real estate experts hand-picked by Trump, only one of whom had ever met him. The attorney general said the school used “bait-and-switch” tactics, inducing students to enroll in increasingly expensive seminars.
Schneiderman, a Democrat, sued Trump and the school, which changed its name to the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative before it closed in 2010, for $40 million. The lawsuit seeks restitution and damages for more than 5,000 students nationwide, including 600 New Yorkers, who paid up to $35,000 each.
Trump filed complaints with the state’s ethics commission in 2013, four months after the lawsuit was filed, alleging Schneiderman pursued it to wring out campaign contributions from Trump’s daughter Ivanka. The commission dropped the complaint after a review. Schneiderman denied it, and his campaign returned the $500 donation Ivanka Trump had made in 2012.
Trump’s attorneys resisted the idea bringing the six-year-old case to trial while the real estate mogul was in the race. Plaintiffs had suggested a June trial.
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