Donald Trump posts USD 175 mn bond in New York civil fraud case, averts asset seizure

Donald Trump posts USD 175 mn bond in New York civil fraud case, averts asset seizure
Image source: Reuters

New York, US: Former US President Donald Trump has posted a USD 175 million bond as he appeals the judgement against him in the New York civil fraud case brought by state Attorney General Letitia James, CNN reported on Tuesday.

With the submission of bonds, it will pause any action that Attorney General James could take against Donald Trump's properties in response to the judgement until at least September, when the state appeals court also set a schedule to hear his appeal of the USD 464 million verdicts against him.

The bond has been underwritten by Knight Specialty Insurance, a California-based insurance company, but the court document does not list the collateral that Trump used to secure the bond.

Last month, Trump said at a news conference he would use cash to cover the bond, but claimed that he also wanted to use cash to fund his re-election campaign.

Yet asked if he planned to start personal funds into his presidential campaign, Trump said, "First of all, it's none of your business," before adding, "I might do that. I have the option."

The bond amount was lowered by several hundred million dollars by a state appeals court last month after Trump's attorneys argued that covering the full bond on the USD 464 million verdict against him was not feasible. (Trump himself was ordered to pay USD 454 million; the USD464 million includes the disgorgement for his adult sons Don Jr. and Eric.)

In January, Judge Arthur Engoron fined Trump and his co-defendants, including his adult sons and his company, USD 464 million, finding they fraudulently inflated the value of the former president's assets to obtain better loan rates.

Trump had been given 30 days to post the bond for the full amount of the judgement while he appealed, as is required by state law, but his attorneys said he could not find an insurance company to underwrite that large of a bond. That prompted James to take steps to prepare to seize Trump's assets in the event Trump failed to post bond.

When the 30-day deadline hit, however, the New York appeals court stepped in and lowered the bond to USD 175 million, giving Trump an additional 10 days.

"As promised, President Trump has posted bond," Trump attorney Alina Habba said in a statement. "He looks forward to vindicating his rights on appeal and overturning this unjust verdict."

Trump also posted a USD 91.6 million bond last month in the E. Jean Carroll defamation case while he appeals that verdict against him.

On March 25, a New York appellate court ruled that it would accept a far smaller bond of USD 175 million to cover Donald Trump's USD 464 million civil fraud judgement, ABC News reported.

The Appellate Division, First Department, said Trump can post a bond "in the amount of USD 175 million" to cover the judgement.