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Trump ordered to post $454M in New York fraud case

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Former President Donald Trump needs to fork over $454 million to comply with the verdict in his civil fraud trial, a New York appeals court judge ruled Wednesday.

The ruling by Associate Justice Anil Singh of the state Appellate Division denied Trump’s request to postpone his obligation to post bond for the $454 million until a five-member appellate panel hears his motion to stay enforcement of that judgment.

The ruling comes in response to a motion by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, who opposed Trump’s request and asked for the former president to be required to post the entire judgment to ensure the state gets the money if he loses his appeal.

Trump’s attorneys had offered to post a $100 million bond, about one-fourth of what is owed, to go toward the judgment, saying they can’t access the capital market to raise money because of the ban on obtaining loans.

“The judgment order unprecedented and punitive disgorgement of nearly $460 million and overbroad permanent injunctive relief against Appellants in the absence of legal authority or factual support,” Trump’s attorneys wrote in court documents.

But James argued that Trump is unlikely to prevail in his formal appeal and that a full bond is required because Trump lacks the cash to pay the judgment.

“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 wrote in a court filing.

“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.

In his ruling on Wednesday, Singh lifted a court-ordered ban on Trump’s ability to obtain loans from New York financial institutions to help raise the $454 million. The ruling also allows Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump to continue to run the family company, but ordered them to post more than $4 million to cover the cost of their appeals.

Trump is appealing a ruling by Superior Court Judge Arthur Engoron in a civil fraud lawsuit brought by James in 2022, accusing the judge of “errors of law and/or fact, abused its discretion, and/or acted in excess of its jurisdiction.”

Engoron found that Trump, his company, and top executives, including his sons Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump, deceived banks and insurers by inflating the value of his family’s wealth on financial statements used to secure loans.

The judge ordered Trump to pay $355 million in penalties, which, with interest, has grown to nearly $454 million. That fine will increase by nearly $112,000 daily until he pays.

The ruling also stipulates that the former president’s sons can’t serve as officers or directors of any New York corporation for two years. The judge also fined Trump’s sons $4 million each.

Trump’s lawyers argue in court filings that he is worth several billion dollars in addition to properties and other investments. James, a Democrat, has said she will seek to seize some of his assets if Trump doesn’t pay the fines.

The civil case is one of Trump’s many legal challenges as he continues his march to the GOP presidential nomination to challenge incumbent Democratic President Joe Biden in November.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, claiming the indictments are part of a politically motivated “witch hunt” to keep him off the ballot.