A New York appeals court ruled against Donald Trump Tuesday and denied his bid to toss out a lawsuit filed by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman claiming fraud at the now-defunct Trump University.
Trump's lawyers claimed the lawsuit, filed in 2013, should be tossed because the statute of limitations on the case had expired. An appeals court said the attorney general is "authorized to bring a cause of action for fraud." Emails to Trump's campaign were not immediately returned.
"Today's decision is a clear victory in our effort to hold Donald Trump and Trump University accountable for defrauding thousands of students," Schneiderman said in a statement Tuesday. "As the state's chief law enforcement officer, my job is to see that perpetrators of fraud are brought to justice. We look forward to demonstrating in a court of law that Donald Trump and his sham for-profit college defrauded more than 5,000 consumers out of millions of dollars."
In 2010, New York State Department of Education sent Trump a letter claiming the use of the word "university" is misleading. The name was later changed to Trump Entrepreneur Initiative and closed soon after.
Schneiderman's lawsuit contends that more than 5,000 people across the country collectively paid Trump $40 million to learn his real estate strategies through seminars and mentorship programs.
The program also advertised professors and teachers "handpicked" by Trump. According to the lawsuit, only one of the instructors had ever met Trump and that instructors had little or no experience in real estate investing.
"Mr. Trump used his celebrity status and personally appeared in commercials making false promises to convince people to spend tens of thousands of dollars they couldn't afford for lessons they never got," Schneiderman said in a statement at the time the suit was filed. "No one, no matter how rich or popular they are, has a right to scam hard-working New Yorkers. Anyone who does should be expect to be held accountable."