President-elect Donald J. Trump will pay $25 million to settle a series of lawsuits over a now-defunct for-profit institution called Trump University, according to a news release issued on Friday by New York’s attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman.
In 2013, Mr. Schneiderman’s office sued Mr. Trump’s university, saying it had misled more than 6,000 students. The students had paid up to $35,000 each for seminars and a mentorship program that promised to teach them Mr. Trump’s secrets of real-estate investing. In a separate court ruling, Trump University was declared an unlicensed educational institution in New York.
“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,” Mr. Schneiderman said in the news release.
Mr. Trump also faced separate class-action civil lawsuits filed by two former students in California who said they had been defrauded.
One of those cases had been scheduled to go to trial this month, raising the awkward situation in which the president-elect would be forced to testify in court at the same time he was assembling his cabinet, with a presiding judge whom Mr. Trump harshly criticized during the election campaign.
To go into effect, the settlement agreement will have to be approved by that judge, Gonzalo P. Curiel of the U.S. District Court in San Diego, but Judge Curiel had urged the parties in the lawsuit to settle in advance of the scheduled trial.
Mr. Trump had repeatedly insisted he would never settle, would win the court battle, and would reopen Trump University. But his unexpected victory in last week’s election apparently changed his mind.
Under the terms of the settlement, Mr. Trump does not admit wrongdoing, according to the Associated Press.