Donald Trump all but declared victory today in the case of his eponymous school, but the New York Attorney General’s office says Trump University still defrauded students looking to learn real estate tips from the billionaire.
The decision from New York State Supreme Court Justice Cynthia Kern “has delivered a devastating blow” to Attorney General Eric Scneiderman’s “well publicized” fight, according to Trump’s lawyer Alan Garten.
Schneiderman’s office disagrees.
The AG claims that Trump’s students, some paying upwards of $US30,000, were swindled by false promises. They thought they would at least get to meet Trump. Instead, they reportedly only got a picture with a cardboard cutout.
But according Garten, Trump’s attorney, the judge’s ruling today makes it so that 98% of the students are ineligible from pursuing the case.
The judge’s ruling will require each student to come to New York to testify “why they are seeking a refund when 98% of all students previously filled out written report cards giving the school high marks and stating that they were completely satisfied with the program,” according to Garten.
“I think it validates everything we’ve been saying from day one,” Garten told Business Insider. “That it’s a waste of taxpayer money, completely politically motivated, an attempt to generate press.”
That may prove premature if the AG’s office has anything to say about it. The judge ruled that fraud claims are subject to a six-year statute of limitations and that “petitioner’s claims for fraud … are timely and remain as claims in this proceeding.”
“Today’s decision affirms the propriety of our fraud case against Donald Trump and his sham university,” spokesperson Damien LaVera said in an email to BI. “The judge determined that our office will have the opportunity to hold Mr. Trump accountable for all of the actions outlined in our complaint.”
“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,” LaVera said. “Attorney General Schneiderman looks forward to making sure he is held accountable.”
For his part, Trump is already doing a victory dance: