- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 17, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump probably won’t have to defend himself against a civil fraud lawsuit linked to his failed real estate school until after the election.

The state’s highest court is expected to decide next year whether to dismiss a fraud lawsuit by the state’s Democratic attorney general seeking more than $40 million in restitution for thousands of Trump University students plus penalties.

In March, the midlevel Appellate Division rejected Trump’s request to dismiss the 2013 lawsuit. That court on Tuesday granted The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative’s request to file a further appeal. That normally means arguments and a ruling at the Court of Appeals in a year.

The midlevel court also had denied Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s request for an immediate judgment, saying issues of fact need to be determined at trial.

Schneiderman alleges Trump University was unlicensed and promised lessons with real estate experts hand-picked by Trump but didn’t deliver. The university changed its name before closing in 2010.

Trump, a billionaire New York real estate mogul and former reality television show star, has denied any wrongdoing.

Trump attorney Alan Garten said Tuesday that they’re pleased to have the opportunity to pursue the case and that one prominent issue is whether the applicable statute of limitations is three years for claims, as they maintain, or six years.

“It would have an effect on how many potential people would be involved in the claims,” he said.

Schneiderman said he’s confident the top court will reject most of Trump’s claims.

“It’s no surprise that Donald Trump is using every legal option to avoid standing trial for operating a sham for-profit university,” he said.

Schneiderman’s office filed the lawsuit in August 2013. It had received complaints that prompted an investigation beginning in 2011.

The attorney general said that many of the 5,000 students who paid up to $35,000 each thought they would at least meet Trump but instead all they got was their photos taken in front of a life-size picture of “The Apprentice” TV star.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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