Trump Unable to Secure $454 Million Appeal Bond in New York Fraud Case, According to His Lawyers

In a recent court filing, former President Donald Trump and his legal team revealed that they have been unsuccessful in obtaining an appeal bond worth $454 million to secure a civil judgment against him in a New York business fraud case.

The lawyers stated that it has proven to be a daunting task to secure the necessary funds for the complete appeal bond, as it would require cash reserves nearing $1 billion, which neither Trump nor his company currently possess.

Despite approaching approximately 30 surety companies through four different brokers and engaging in extensive negotiations with one of the world’s largest insurance companies, Trump’s team has not been able to secure the bond, as detailed in the filing submitted to the Appellate Division of Manhattan Supreme Court.

Under New York court rules, Trump must post an appeal bond if he hopes to avoid the New York Attorney General Letitia James from moving forward with collecting the fraud judgment in the state’s favor, threatening to seize Trump’s property in the event of non-payment.

In February, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron ordered Trump and his co-defendants to pay a total of $464 million in damages and interest for violating a New York anti-fraud statute, ruling in favor of James’ lawsuit. Trump was held responsible for the majority of the judgment amounting to $454 million, with post-judgment interest accruing daily at nearly $112,000.

The effort to obtain the appeal bond was further hindered by the stringent requirements set forth by bond issuers, who typically demand collateral totaling 120% of the judgment, equivalent to over $557 million. This, coupled with the upfront payment of more than $18 million as a two-year advance on the annual bond premium, presented additional challenges.

Through an affidavit from Gary Giulietti, president of the Northeast division of the Lockton Companies, Trump’s lawyers highlighted the practical impossibility of securing a bond of this magnitude, as only a select few bond surety companies are authorized to underwrite such large bonds, typically limited to the largest public companies with significant cash resources.

Despite Trump’s claims of having substantial cash holdings, the lack of sufficient liquid assets and the privately held status of the Trump Organization posed significant obstacles in obtaining the necessary bond to secure the judgment amount.

In the absence of a successful resolution, Trump’s legal team has requested the appellate division to consider allowing oral arguments on the issue or seek relief from the Court of Appeals without mandating the full appeal bond, in an ongoing effort to navigate the complexities of the case and the financial obligations at hand.

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