Donald Trump

Trump, Madoff and Weinstein: A Look at Schneiderman's Notable Cases

In his seven years in the job, Schneiderman earned headlines for a number of high-profile cases

Eric Schneiderman, who took office as New York attorney general on Jan. 1, 2011, announced Monday that he would resign after four women accused him of being physically abusive.

The accusations had led Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to call for an investigation. Early Tuesday, the Manhattan DA's office confirmed it had opened an investigation. 

"Our office has opened an investigation into the recently reported allegations concerning Mr. Schneiderman," Danny Frost, spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, said in a statement.

In his seven years in the job, Schneiderman earned headlines for a number of high-profile cases. Here are some of the top cases that came through his office:

-- In June 2012, Schneiderman announced a settlement that would bring $405 million to victims of Bernie Madoff's historic investment scam. 

The victims included New York Law School, Bard College, Harlem Children's Zone, Homes for the Homeless and the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.

Schneiderman called the agreement "a victory for justice and accountability," according to an Associated Press report.

--  In October 2016, Schneiderman announced that fantasy sports companies DraftKings and FanDuel had agreed to pay $6 million apiece to New York state to resolve lawsuits alleging they had engaged in false advertising.

The deal ended a legal battle that saw FanDuel and DraftKings briefly halt operations in New York earlier that year after the attorney general said the companies’ business amounted to illegal gambling. Schneiderman’s office also accused the two companies of misleading players about potential winnings advertisements and marketing material. Under the terms of the agreement, FanDuel and DraftKings will agree to revise the terms and conditions disclosed to players and post information about actual winnings online.

“Today’s settlements make it clear that no company has a right to deceive New Yorkers for its own profit,” Schneiderman said in a statement announcing the deal. Both New York-based FanDuel and Boston-based DraftKings confirmed the settlement in statements to The Associated Press. FanDuel spokeswoman Justine Sacco said the negotiations with Schneiderman’s office were “tough but fair.”

-- In March 2017, a judge approved an agreement for President Donald Trump to pay $25 million to settle lawsuits over his now-defunct Trump University.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel in San Diego ended nearly seven years of legal battles with customers who claimed they were misled by failed promises to teach success in real estate.

The ruling settled two class-action lawsuits and a civil lawsuit by Schneiderman.

-- In February 2018, Schneiderman accused Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein of "repeatedly and persistently" sexually harassing female employees at his film company. The complaint filed by the state prosecutor alleged that The Weinstein Company repeatedly broke New York state law “by failing to protect its employees from pervasive sexual harassment, intimidation and discrimination.”

Schneiderman had launched a civil rights probe into the New York City-based company in October 2017 following reports in The New York Times and The New Yorker that detailed allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Weinstein spanning decades. Schneiderman's office said it had chosen the timing of the lawsuit due to reports of the Weinstein Company’s imminent sale, which could have left victims without adequate redress.

Schneiderman's investigation found that employees were subjected to various verbal threats from Weinstein such as "I will kill you, I will kill your family," and "you don’t know what I can do."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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