Trump fails to secure $690m bond, could lose properties

Trump warns of 'bloodbath' if he loses election

Source: X/Inside with Jen Psaki

Donald Trump’s efforts to secure a bond to cover a $US454 million ($692 million) judgment in a New York civil fraud case has been rejected by 30 surety companies, his lawyers say, inching him closer to the possibility of having his properties seized.

The former US president must either pay the sum out of his own pocket or post a bond to stave off the state’s seizure while he appeals Justice Arthur Engoron’s February 16 judgment against him for misstating property values to dupe lenders and insurers.

Trump, two of his adult children and other Trump Organisation executives had so far approached the 30 companies through four separate brokers without success, his lawyers said. The other defendants face judgments totalling $US10 million ($15 million).

A bonding company would be on the hook for any payout if Trump loses his appeal and proves unable to pay.

The case, brought by New York state Attorney General Letitia James in September 2022, is one of several legal travails the businessman-turned-Republican candidate faces as he seeks a November 5 election rematch with Democratic President Joe Biden.

Trump, 77, has denied wrongdoing and vowed to appeal the judgement, which threatens his family’s real estate empire.

He must post cash or a bond within 30 days of Engoron’s formal entry of the order on February 23 or risk the state seizing some of the Trump Organisation’s assets to ensure James can collect. The 30 days end on March 25.

In a court filing on Monday (US time), Trump’s lawyers urged a mid-level state appeals court to delay enforcement of the judgment, arguing the amount was excessive. It was unclear when the court, known as the Appellate Division, would rule.

The lawyers asked that Trump instead be allowed to post a $US100 million ($152 million) bond while he appeals the judgment.

Gary Giulietti, an executive with insurance brokerage the Lockton Companies hired by Trump to help get a bond, wrote in the court filing that a bond for the full $US464 million ($707 million) is not possible under the circumstances presented.

Giulietti said many sureties would not issue bonds above $US100 million ($152 million) and would accept only cash or securities – not real estate – as collateral.

“Enforcing an impossible bond requirement as a condition of appeal would inflict manifest irreparable injury on Defendants,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.

Before a three-month, non-jury trial began in October, Engoron found 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.

The trial dealt mostly with damages. In the February 16 decision, Engoron wrote that Trump and the other defendants “are incapable of admitting the error of their ways”.

Trump this month posted a $US91.6 million ($139.6 million) bond to cover an $US83.3 million ($127 million) defamation verdict for the writer E Jean Carroll while he appeals, in a case that arose from his branding her a liar after she accused him of raping her decades ago. He has denied wrongdoing.

He has also pleaded not guilty in four criminal cases stemming from his efforts to overturn his 2020 loss to Biden, his handling of government documents after leaving office in 2021, and hush money paid before his 2016 election win to a porn star who said she had a sexual encounter with him.


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