A judge has finalized a $25 million settlement for students who claim they were defrauded by Trump University


NEW YORK – MAY 23: Real estate mogul Donald Trump (R) speaks as university president Michael Sexton (L) looks on during a news conference announcing the establishment of Trump University May 23, 2005 in New York City. Trump University will consist of on-line courses, CD-ROMS and other learning programs for business professionals. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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(CNN) — A judge has finalized a $25 million dollar settlement in the Trump University class action lawsuit, paving the way for thousands of former students at the now-defunct real estate seminar to get some of their money back.

Judge Gonzalo Curiel in the Southern District of California approved the settlement in March 2017, but it was delayed because one woman wanted to opt out and sue Donald Trump separately.

Earlier this year, an appeals court rejected the woman’s arguments. And on Monday, Curiel finalized the settlement.

Former students who claim they were defrauded are now eligible for a refund of up to 90% of the money they spent on courses.

In November 2016, just days after the election, Trump agreed to settle three lawsuits filed against his real estate school that argued the program featured false advertisements and empty promises.

Despite its name, Trump University, which ceased operations in 2010, was not a licensed university.

Trump repeatedly denied the fraud claims and said that he could have won at trial, but he said that as President he did not have time because he wanted to focus on the country.

Trump had once said Curiel could not be impartial in the case due to his Mexican heritage. At the appeals hearing last November, one of President Trump’s attorneys said the President had changed his opinion of Curiel, citing the “textbook example of a district court properly administering a settlement.”

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, whose office filed one of the three lawsuits, said of the final settlement: “This settlement marked a stunning reversal by President Trump, who for years refused to compensate the victims of his sham university. “

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