Donald Trump, Unable to Pay Full $454 Million Bond Amount, Offers to Post $100 Million in Civil Fraud Case But Appellate Judge Denies It

By Jace Dela Cruz

Feb 29, 2024 01:53 AM EST

Former President Donald Trump proposed to post a $100 million bond on Wednesday while appealing a New York judge's ruling that he must pay $454 million in penalties and interest in a civil fraud case.

However, USA Today reported that New York Attorney General Letitia James, who filed the lawsuit, has opposed this request, saying the full amount should be posted, which is required precisely due to his insufficient cash and need to raise further capital.

"There is no merit to defendants' contention that a full bond or deposit is unnecessary because they are willing to post a partial undertaking of less than a quarter of the judgment amount," James said. 

"Defendants all but concede that Mr. Trump has insufficient liquid assets to satisfy the judgment; defendants would need 'to raise capital' to do so," she added."

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally In Rock Hill, South Carolina
(Photo : Win McNamee/Getty Images)
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 23: Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump gestures to supporters after speaking at a Get Out The Vote rally at Winthrop University on February 23, 2024 in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Donald Trump Proposes to Post $100 Million in Civil Fraud Case

On February 16, New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron directed Donald Trump to pay $355 million plus interest for fraudulently inflating the values of his properties.

He also barred Trump from serving as an officer or director of a corporation or other legal entities in New York, including in his firm, the Trump Organization, for three years after he found the former president liable for fraud, conspiracy, and issuing false financial statements and false business records.

Engoron also found Trump's two adult sons liable for fraud and ordered them to pay $4 million each. Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are also barred from doing business in New York for two years.

The February 16 judgment was $355 million, but the amount has surged with interest as it keeps growing by at least $112,000 daily.

Earlier this week, Trump asked the appellate division to overturn Engoron's verdict and reverse the massive penalties. While the former president appealed the judgment, Trump asked to postpone paying the entire amount since he would have trouble posting the full amount.

In a court filing earlier Wednesday, the lawyers of Donald Trump, Clifford Robert and Alina Habba, wrote: "The exorbitant and punitive amount of the Judgment coupled with an unlawful and unconstitutional blanket prohibition on lending transactions would make it impossible to secure and post a complete bond."

"Appellants nonetheless plan to secure and post a bond in the amount of $100 million," they added. The defense lawyers claimed they could not access the capital market to raise money due to the ban on obtaining loans. 

They also argued that Trump would have to sell some of his properties to secure the massive amount, and if he decides to secure a loan, he would have to raise more than $550 million as bond underwriters charge around 120% of the judgment and often require cash and other assets like bonds and stocks as collateral.

"In the absence of a stay on the terms herein outlined, properties would likely need to be sold to raise capital under exigent circumstances, and there would be no way to recover any property sold following a successful appeal and no means to recover the resulting financial losses from the Attorney General," the defense lawyers noted, according to ABC News.

In line with this, an appeals court judge agreed on Wednesday to pause the enforcement of the part of the judgment that prohibited the former president and his two sons from running their family business for the next few years, which means the trio can remain in charge of the Trump Organization for the time being.

Associate Justice Anil Singh also lifted a ban on Trump's ability to acquire loans from New York-regulated financial institutions so he could access the equity in his assets to back the entire bond amount, CNN reported.

READ NEXT: Donald Trump Warns About the Biggest Stock Market Crash in US History if He Loses to Joe Biden and Investors Just Laugh 

Appeals Court Judge Denies Donald Trump's Appeal to Post $100 Million

However, Anil Singh denied the request of Donald Trump to delay his obligation to pay the full amount of the bond. The former president still has two opportunities to appeal the ruling.

First, it is with a panel of judges at New York's Appellate Division, First Department, in March, which could set a bond anywhere from zero to the full judgment, and then with New York's Court of Appeals if the first attempt is still not successful.

READ MORE: Joe Biden Keeps Donald Trump's China Tariffs Despite Clashing on Many Policy Issues: Here's Why

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