NEW YORK/SAN DIEGO, Nov 18 (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has agreed to settle fraud lawsuits relating to his Trump University series of real estate seminars for $25 million, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday.
A settlement would end a dispute that dogged Trump throughout his presidential election campaign and led to one of the more controversial moments of his run when he claimed the judge overseeing two of the cases was biased because he was of Mexican ancestry.
Related: Trump's transition team
Donald Trump's transition team
Donald Trump's transition team
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Lawyers for the president-elect have been arguing 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 suits in California and a case brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. All of the cases would be covered in the possible settlement, the person said.
The source asked not be identified because the agreement was not yet final.
Schneiderman has said over 5,000 students across the country were defrauded out of about $40 million.
The $25 million settlement agreement would include roughly $4 million to resolve Schneiderman's claims, the source said. Lawyers for the students were not planning to seek attorneys fees, but reimbursement for costs.
Trump's attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment.
U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over the two California cases, had urged both sides to settle.
Related: Trump's life leading up to the election
Donald Trump's life leading up to the election
Donald Trump's life leading up to the election
Bound for the rigors of business school in the future, Donald Trump received discipline at an early age by attending a military academy. There, he reportedly excelled in extracurricular activities such as being the Honor Cadet.
Donald Trump in the New York Military Academy's 1964 yearbook
As someone who loves the art of negotiation, Donald Trump was able to negotiate New York City to provide a 40-year tax abatement for the Grand Hyatt Hotel — the first ever granted to a commercial property.
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Master renovator: Trump offered to renovate decrepit areas in need, such as a long-closed ice-skating rink, at no profit to himself, after the city's renovation effort went through five years of delays and more than double the original cost estimate.
Developer Donald Trump, right, poses with New York City's Park Commissioner Henry Stern holding a pair of ice skates that are intended for use at the Wollman Skating Rink Central Park in New York, Aug. 7, 1986. (AP Photo/G. Paul Burnett)
Trump's enterprise also stretched out into sports, where he was the original owner of the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League.
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Trump owns a fleet of luxury helicopters.
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Trump also enjoys tennis — he even played a round, wearing his traditional suit, against the legendary Serena Williams.
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Trump was also notorious for befriending attractive supermodels. His first wife, Ivana, a Czech-American, was a member of the social elite.
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No expense was spared for his belongings, as Donald Trump once paid the sultan of Brunei $30 million for a nearly 300-foot yacht.
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Being the entertaining host, Trump also spared no expense in providing a spectacular show for friends and family.
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As a self-proclaimed family man, Trump attended many public events and television shows with his family, even before his current campaign.
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Sometimes, negotiating can be a tough sport. What better way to exert your dominance by taking the center stage among the world's most bombastic figures?
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Trump famously launched his presidential campaign in June 2015 by coming down an escalator in Trump Tower. Since then, he has weathered waves of controversy to become the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
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As the fog of the political battlefield has cleared on the Republican side, Trump is now preparing for a likely battle with presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
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Trump made his final appeal to voters in swing-states as the contentious campaign drew to a close.
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Trump said during his election campaign that Curiel, who was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrant parents, could not be impartial because of Trump's campaign pledge to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to control illegal immigration.
A trial in one of the cases was 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.
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 was set for Friday afternoon in San Diego.