U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel told attorneys for GOP presidential nominee that he will allow a suit by one of the plaintiffs to go forward, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Curiel, whom Trump has repeatedly accused of bias due to his Mexican heritage and despite the fact that he was born in Indiana, is allowing the case of lead plaintiff Sonny Low to proceed on accusations of fraud.
Low is part of a group of former students of Trump University who accused the businessman of running a scam operation and are seeking compensation under consumer-fraud and elder-abuse laws.
Trump University stands accused of persuading prospective students to pay tens of thousands of dollars for real-estate seminars that were taught by unqualified instructors and were little more than “infomercials” for the New York developer.
Trump’s attorney’s sought to exclude Low from the group, stating that he indicated that he was not concerned that Trump University was not an accredited institution.
According to Curiel, Trump’s attorneys relied upon a “selective interpretation” of Low’s deposition, in which the former student said that accreditation “was not even a consideration for me,” in their motion to dismiss.
The judge told the attorneys that the former student believed that the school was legitimate based upon its association with Trump, with Low stating in his deposition: “Besides being a multi-billionaire in real estate, he set up Trump University, which I would presume that he took all the steps necessary to set up a proper institution that he could call a university, with his name next to it.”
Trump has defended his university and has refused to settle with any of the plaintiffs, causing the lawsuit to dog him on the presidential campaign trail.