MANHATTAN (CN) — A judge gave the lawsuit against Trump University the green light Tuesday, paving the way for the Republican presidential front-runner to testify in the fall.
Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Cynthia Kern ruled that the $40 million fraud lawsuit against Donald Trump's for-profit university can proceed.
The lawsuit, which was filed in 2013, alleges the school had received warnings from New York not to use the "university" moniker, and that it mislead more than 5,000 students, getting them to pay $35,000 in tuition for bogus real estate tips.
In a statement, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is prosecuting the case, said he was pleased with Kern's decision, calling Trump University a "sham for-profit college" that "defrauded thousands out of millions of dollars." Hearings in the lawsuit could begin this fall, before the 2016 presidential election is decided.
Trump University was created in 2005 and promised lessons with leading real estate experts hand-picked by Trump himself.
A lawsuit was filed on behalf of disgruntled former students, who claimed the school used bait-and-switch tactics and was not even properly licensed. The school had received a warning in 2005 from the New York State Education Department to remove the word "university" from the institution because it was not properly chartered.
One of the plaintiffs, Tarla Makaeff, withdrew from the lawsuit last week for personal reasons.
Schneiderman, a Democrat, said Trump and Michael Sexton, also a defendant, would be "essential witnesses at trial."
Trump has bragged he would "easily win this case" in court and has so far refused to settle.
He has said that the lawsuit was filed by students who want to receive the Trump University education for free.
During a 2012 deposition, Trump admitted he never met most of the Trump University instructors.
Trump lawyer Jeffrey Goldman has reportedly said there are no current negotiations to settle the case.
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