Federal appeals court allows settlements in Trump University fraud case to proceed

A federal appeals court has kept in place an agreement for President Trump to pay millions of dollars in settlements for the failed Trump University.

The San Francisco-based three-judge panel said in a 21-page ruling Tuesday that one student’s wish to back out of the $25 million settlement deal before it was finalized was not proper.

Sherri Simpson was among those who claimed university officials committed fraud by failing to teach them about real estate-selling techniques. Simpson wanted to pursue her own lawsuit, instead of the class-action settlement.

But the judges said pursuing a separate tort at this stage would be too disruptive for the lengthy, complex litigation that is about to be finalized.  


The issue dogged then-candidate Trump during his 2016 presidential run.

Tuesday’s ruling is a legal vindication for federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who had presided over the cases. Trump had labeled the judge a “hater,” hinting the Indiana-born Curiel’s Mexican heritage made him biased against the candidate, because of Trump’s comments on illegal immigration and border security.

In a separate case, Curiel will preside Friday in a key public hearing over lawsuits by California and environmental groups against the administration’s efforts to circumvent environmental laws, in order to fast-track construction of the border wall along Mexico.