By Karen Freifeld
| NEW YORK
NEW YORK President-elect Donald Trump is nearing a settlement of about $20 million in fraud lawsuits relating to Trump University, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday.Lawyers for the president-elect have been squaring off against students who claim they were they were lured by false promises into paying up to $35,000 to learn Trump's real estate investing "secrets" from his "hand-picked" instructors. There are three lawsuits relating to Trump University: two class actions in California and a case brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. All would be covered in the possible settlement, the person said.A trial in one of the cases is scheduled to begin on Nov. 28 in U.S. District Court in San Diego.
"As Attorney General Schneiderman has long said, he has always been open to a settlement that fairly compensates the many victims of Trump University who have been waiting years for a resolution," Eric Soufer, a spokesman for Schneiderman, said in a statement. Neither Trump's lawyers nor lawyers representing the students immediately responded to calls for comment.
Trump has said he did not "hand pick" Trump University instructors, but that marketing language used was not to be taken literally. He has said most students gave the classes high ratings.A court hearing in the case set for trial is scheduled in San Diego for Friday afternoon. Trump's lawyers were expected to argue to delay the trial.
U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over the two California cases, has urged both sides to settle. Trump triggered controversy earlier this year, when he said during his election campaign that Curiel, who was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrant parents, could not be impartial because of Trump's pledge to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. (Additional reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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