April 22nd, 2024

Donald Trump posts $175 million in civil fraud case, halting collection of massive judgment

By Michael R. Sisak And Jennifer Peltz, The Associated Press on April 1, 2024.

Republican presidential candidate, former President Donald Trump speaks during the Club Golf Awards at Trump International Golf Course in West Palm Beach, Fla., Sunday, March 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

NEW YORK (AP) – Donald Trump posted a $175 million bond on Monday in his New York civil fraud case, halting collection of the more than $454 million he owes and preventing the state from seizing his assets to satisfy the debt while he appeals, according to a court filing.

A New York appellate court had given the former president 10 days to put up the money after a panel of judges agreed last month to slash the amount needed to stop the clock on enforcement.

The bond Trump is posting with the court now is essentially a placeholder, meant to guarantee payment if the judgment is upheld. If that happens, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee will have to pay the state the whole sum, which grows with daily interest.

If Trump wins, he won’t have to pay the state anything and will get back the money he has put up now.

Until the appeals court intervened to lower the required bond, New York Attorney General Letitia James had been poised to initiate efforts to collect the judgment, possibly by seizing some of Trump’s marquee properties. James, a Democrat, brought the lawsuit on the state’s behalf.

The court ruled after Trump’s lawyers complained it was “a practical impossibility” to get an underwriter to sign off on a bond for the $454 million, plus interest, that he owes.

Trump is fighting to overturn a judge’s Feb. 16 finding that he lied about his wealth as he fostered the real estate empire that launched him to stardom and the presidency. The trial focused on how Trump’s assets were valued on financial statements that went to bankers and insurers to get loans and deals.

Trump denies any wrongdoing, saying the statements actually lowballed his fortune, came with disclaimers and weren’t taken at face value by the institutions that lent to or insured him.

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