NY Says Trump Should Post Full Bond During Fraud Case Appeal

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(Bloomberg) -- The New York attorney general disputed Donald Trump’s claim that he may have to sell properties at a loss to secure the bond necessary to appeal a $454 million civil fraud fine.

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The real estate mogul, who is seeking permission to post a smaller, $100 million bond or no bond at all, failed to provide evidence that insurance companies known for arranging such bonds were demanding cash and refusing to accept his properties as collateral, Attorney General Letitia James said in an appeals court filing Monday.

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To put the damage award on hold while he appeals, Trump must post a bond for at least 110% of the total by March 25. The billionaire former president, who is campaigning to return to the White House, is running short on cash after losing two civil trials in less than two months. Even so, he’s got a wide array of assets he can use as collateral, on top of $400 million in cash he testified to having on hand last year.

Trump’s appeals of the civil verdicts come as the former president faces four criminal prosecutions, one of which goes to trial later this month in Manhattan. He denies wrongdoing in all the cases, claiming they’re part of a Democratic-led “witch hunt.”

Just last week, Trump arranged a $91.6 million bond to appeal the verdict against him in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation suit, demonstrating his ability to arrange such bonds. His bond in that case was arranged by Chubb Ltd.’s Federal Insurance Co.

Read More: Trump Warns of Losses on Forced Sales During Property Slump

James argued that without a full bond, Trump could attempt to avoid paying the fine if his appeal fails. In her court filing, she rejected his suggestion that a bond isn’t necessary because his ownership interest in his 40 Wall St. tower alone was sufficient to pay the fine if he lost.

She said she wants to see proof that surety companies refused to accept the skyscraper as collateral and that sureties “have refused to accept this property, his other real estate interests, or his private jets or helicopters as collateral for an appeal bond.”

Trump has a March 18 deadline to respond to the attorney general’s arguments. After that, a panel of appeals court judges could hold a hearing or issue a ruling without one.

Justice Arthur Engoron, who oversaw the trial without a jury, found that Trump inflated the value of his assets by billions of dollars a year for more than a decade to get better terms on loans, reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in “illegal profit.” He ordered Trump to pay a $355 million fine plus $99 million in pre-trial interest and banned him from running any New York-based company for three years.

The case is New York v. Trump, 452564/2022, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan).

(Adds next steps in case and background in last two paragraphs.)

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