Trials & Litigation

Trump bond reduced to $175 million as he appeals N.Y. fine

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Former President Donald Trump

Donald Trump at New York State Supreme Court in New York on Feb. 15. (Steven Hirsch/New York Post/Bloomberg)

A New York appeals court agreed to slash millions off of the bond Donald Trump must post to cover a $454 million civil fraud verdict while he appeals it, reducing it to just $175 million after the real estate mogul claimed he’d have to sell properties at a loss to raise cash.

The ruling Monday comes on the day Trump faced a deadline to either pay the fine or post a bond for 120% of the judgment to put it on hold while he appeals. That would have amounted to nearly $545 million dollars. He has 10 days to post the bond, the court ruled.

The decision means Trump may be able to push ahead with his appeal without the risk of his assets being seized by New York Attorney General Letitia James for lack of payment. The appeals court did not offer any explanation behind their decision.

The ruling is major setback for James, who had argued that Trump should be ordered to post a bond for the full amount because he couldn’t be trusted to pay what he owes if his appeal fails. Trump could still appeal the bond ruling to New York’s highest court to seek a further reduction.

The former president had asked to post a smaller bond or no bond at all to ease the financial pressure on him while he campaigns to return to the White House. But his legal woes remain. He’s also challenging an $83.3 million verdict in another civil trial he lost this year and faces four criminal prosecutions, the first of which is likely to go to trial in Manhattan next month.

Before the two verdicts, Trump had a net worth of about $3.1 billion, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimates, and since then he hasn’t said how much cash he has on hand. But his recent court filing said the Manhattan-based Trump Organization would be forced to hold a “fire sale” of properties to raise enough cash for a bond.

Trump, who is the presumptive Republican nominee for the November election, said in a March 18 filing that 30 insurance companies capable of providing large appeal bonds refused to accept his real estate as collateral, citing an industry standard to only accept cash or cash equivalents. His lawyers said he doesn’t have enough cash.

James responded in a March 20 letter saying that Trump had failed to provide evidence of why the companies wouldn’t accept his real estate as collateral.

The massive verdict was handed down in February by a state court judge who concluded Trump and his company inflated the value of his assets by billions of dollars a year for more than a decade to get better terms on loans. Trump denies wrongdoing and says he’s likely to get the verdict reduced or overturned on appeal.

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