Trump posts $270m bond in civil fraud case

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 has posted a $US175 million ($270 million) bond in his New York civil fraud case, averting asset seizures by state authorities that could have hobbled the former US president’s business empire.

The Republican Trump, who will face Democratic President Joe Biden in the US presidential election in November, was found liable on February 16 for fraudulently inflating his net worth by billions of dollars to secure better loan and insurance terms.

Trump originally needed to post a bond for $US454 million ($698 million), but an appeals court on March 25 stayed enforcement of Justice Arthur Engoron’s judgment on condition that Trump pay the smaller sum within 10 days.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court will hear Trump’s appeal on the merits. The appeals court ruling reducing the bond is no indication of how the panel will ultimately rule.

The bond prevents New York Attorney-General Letitia James from going after Trump’s properties, including Trump Tower, his resort and golf course in Westchester and his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

Before he posted his bond, James’ office had taken its first step towards seizing the golf course by filing judgments in Westchester County.  It followed similar action in Manhattan, where the fraud trial took place and several of Trump’s most famous properties are located.

The bond is underwritten by Californian company Knight Specialty Insurance. The court document does not list the collateral that Trump used to secure the cash.

It follows a claim in March by Trump that he would use cash to cover the bond – although he also said he wanted the money to fund his reelection campaign.

Asked if he planned to add personal funds to his presidential campaign, Trump said, “First of all, it’s none of your business,” before adding, “I might do that. I have the option.”

Trump has denied wrongdoing and said the case is a political witch hunt by James, a Democrat who sued him in 2022.

In a 92-page order, Engoron described how Trump directed deputies to change the values of his properties to arrive at his desired net worth for a decade before his entry into politics.

The case is part of a maelstrom of legal troubles Trump faces, including a criminal trial in New York scheduled to begin on April 15. Trump, who has pleaded not guilty, is accused in that case of illegally covering up hush money payments to a porn star ahead of the 2016 election.

He has also been charged in two cases with trying to overturn his 2020 election loss to Biden and in another over his handling of classified documents upon leaving office.

Those have been mired in delays and may not go to trial before the November election.

Trump has pleaded not guilty in all of them.

-with AAP

Topics: Donald Trump
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