Trump appeal: The Donald seeks to pay quarter of $454M judgment

Denial of bond request could force him to sell properties

Trump Offers $100M Appeal Bond on $454M Judgment
Photo illustration of Donald Trump (Getty; Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

Donald Trump’s financial situation may be weaker than many think, based on a request made through his legal team Wednesday.

The former president requested to post a bond of just $100 million to appeal the $454 million judgment awarded to the state following his civil fraud trial in New York City, the New York Times reported.

The appeal bond in New York is typically the penalty plus 9 percent interest, which in this case would be about $500 million.

Trump would need to secure a bond or produce the full amount of the judgment unless the appellate court grants his wish. One judge at the court denied his request Wednesday afternoon, but the developer can ask a panel of judges again next month.

Trump’s legal team also requested a pause on other punishments from the case, including a three-year ban on receiving a loan from a New York bank, which could conceivably affect his ability to post the full appeal bond.

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If Trump’s request is blocked, New York Attorney General Letitia James could try to collect the judgment against the former president. Assuming he doesn’t have enough to pay — as of last year, he had more than $350 million in cash — James can seize his bank accounts or potentially his real estate, as she has previously suggested.

Trump’s lawyers said the former president may have to sell his properties “under exigent circumstances” if the appeals court denies the request. James’ office is calling for the appeals court to do just that.

If Trump does post the full appeal bond or is permitted to pay less than anticipated by the appellate court, James wouldn’t be able to collect judgment until the appeals process plays out.

The attorney general’s office argued at the trial that the Trump Organization claimed high valuations for some of its properties in order to borrow more money against them, but low valuations when it served the company’s purposes. Judge Arthur Engoron’s recent ruling in a bench trial was to determine damages, as he had already ruled the organization was liable.

Holden Walter-Warner

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