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Donald Trump faces deadline to post $US454 million bond

Donald Trump says prosecutors are working with Democrats to undercut his election campaign.

Donald Trump says prosecutors are working with Democrats to undercut his election campaign. Photo: Getty

Donald Trump’s deadline to post a bond covering a $US454 million ($695 million) civil fraud judgment is approaching, as the former president faces the risk of his marquee properties being seized.

Trump, seeking to regain the presidency this year, must either pay the money out of his own pocket or post a bond on Monday while he appeals Justice Arthur Engoron’s February 16 judgment against him for manipulating his net worth and his family real estate company’s property values to dupe lenders and insurers.

The Trump campaign on Friday called for donations from “one million pro-Trump patriots”, saying that the “iconic Trump Tower” was among his properties at risk of seizure.

The case cuts to the core of his public image as a prosperous businessman.

Trump rose to fame as a developer of flashy properties like Manhattan’s Trump Tower and often boasts of his financial success – even though his companies have at times struggled.

But Trump, the Republican candidate challenging Democratic President Joe Biden in the November 5 US election, now faces a web of financial worries including campaign fundraising lagging behind his rival.

The judgment in the case was entered in Manhattan, where Trump properties such as Trump Tower or 40 Wall Street may be in the sights of New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat who brought the civil case in 2022.

James also has notified Westchester County, just north of New York City, of the judgment, a step toward potentially seizing assets there such as a Trump golf course and a 60-room mansion and estate called Seven Springs.

Trump has denied wrongdoing and called the case politically motivated.

The first former US president ever to face criminal charges, Trump has been indicted in four separate cases, pleading not guilty in each.

In one of those cases, a New York judge on Monday is set to hear arguments on Trump’s bid to postpone a mid-April start date over charges related to hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 US election.

In the civil fraud case, Trump’s lawyers have said 30 surety companies have rejected his requests to post a bond securing the judgment, and have asked that he be allowed to post $US100 million ($153 million) instead.

They have asked a mid-level state appeals court to delay enforcement of the judgment.

During a 2023 deposition by the attorney general’s office, Trump said his companies had more than $US400 million ($613 million) in cash.

In a social media post on Friday, he said he had almost $US500 million ($766 million) in cash, but intended to use much of it on his campaign.

“I will be forced to mortgage or sell Great Assets, perhaps at Fire Sale prices,” Trump wrote on social media last week.

Before the three-month, non-jury trial in Manhattan, Engoron found that Trump had engaged in fraud by overvaluing properties including his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, his penthouse apartment in Manhattan’s Trump Tower, and various office buildings and golf courses.

-Reuters
Topics: Donald Trump
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