Trump posts $175M bond in New York fraud case

Former President Trump posted a $175 million bond in his New York civil fraud case Monday evening, staving off the possible seizure of his assets while appealing a state judge’s ruling against him over deceitful business practices. 

The bond, from the Knight Specialty Insurance Company, automatically bars New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) from collecting the $464 million, plus interest, judgment against Trump, his business and top executives while the appellate process moves forward. 

Judge Arthur Engoron found Trump, the Trump Organization and top executives — including two of Trump’s adult sons — liable for fraud last year. In February, he ruled that they conspired to alter the former president’s net worth for tax and insurance benefits. 

In addition to the financial penalty, Trump and the executives were barred from serving in top leadership positions of any New York business for several years — a penalty also paused by the bond.

Trump’s $175 million bond followed a state appeals court’s order that enforcement of the full judgment would be paused if Trump and his co-defendants posted the reduced amount. 

Trump’s lawyers initially told the New York appeals court that, despite “diligent efforts,” it would be “impossible” to secure a full surety bond due to lack of cash on hand. They asked the court to accept a $100 million bond.

James’s office urged the appeals court to make Trump pay the full amount before pausing enforcement, suggesting that Trump could post the full amount by seeking several bonds and limiting “any individual surety’s risk.”

Trump recently said he has nearly $500 million in cash and told state lawyers last year in depositions he had “substantially in excess of $400 million in cash.” But, on top of a $91 million appeal bond Trump was also recently forced to pay in writer E. Jean Carroll’s defamation case, those figures fall short of what he now owes in the fraud case. 

Before Trump posted bond, the state took the first step toward seizing Trump’s Seven Springs golf resort and private estate by filing judgments in Westchester County, N.Y. Judgments have already been filed in Manhattan, where the fraud trial took place and several of his most famous properties are located. 

With enforcement paused, the appeals process can now move forward. The appeals court’s temporary pause in enforcement is conditioned on Trump’s lawyers “perfecting” their appeal during the court’s September term, according to the appeals court’s previous order. 

In a statement, Trump lawyer Alina Habba said Trump “looks forward to vindicating his rights on appeal and overturning this unjust verdict.” 

Updated at 9:01 pm.

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