Trump says he can’t secure $454M bond in civil fraud case

Attorneys representing Donald Trump said Monday that the former president has not been able to get a bond to guarantee payment of the $454 million civil-fraud judgment against him.

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In a filing to a New York appeals court, obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Trump’s lawyers said that representatives have approached about 30 surety companies, including “one of the largest insurance companies in the world.”

“The amount of the judgment, with interest, exceeds $464 million, and very few bonding companies will consider a bond of anything approaching that magnitude,” attorneys said. “The remaining handful will not ‘accept hard assets such as real estate as collateral.’”

They called securing the bond “‘a practical impossibility.’”

“A bond requirement of this enormous magnitude — effectively requiring cash reserves approaching $1 billion … is unprecedented for a private company,” they said.

Trump has asked a court to delay the bond requirement as he appeals the case, saying that such a move would “impose no cognizable harm” on New York Attorney General Letitia James, who brought the case against Trump. Attorneys added that his real estate holdings “greatly exceed the amount of the judgment.”

“The case involves no actual victims and no award of restitution, and (James) is fully protected by Defendants’ real-estate holdings,” lawyers for Trump wrote in the court filing. “This factor alone warrants a stay.”

Trump indicated his intent to appeal the civil judgment last month after a judge found him, his adult sons, his businesses and company officials liable for lying for years about his net worth to get better terms from insurers and lenders.

With interest, Trump owes $456.8 million, according to The Associated Press. Combined with the fines leveled against his co-defendants, the group owes $467.3 million.

Attorneys said the amount would require the group to hand over collateral worth $557 million. They have until the end of the month to secure the funds, according to CNN.

Last month, a New York judge barred Trump, his sons and former Trump Organization officials from serving as officers or directors of any corporation or legal entity in New York for as many as three years as part of the judgment. The former president took to social media after the ruling came down, calling it a “Complete and Total SHAM.”

James filed suit against Trump, his adult sons and the Trump Organization in 2022, accusing them of lying about the value of their properties for years. She said that Trump inflated his net worth by as much as $3.6 billion in financial statements given to banks, Reuters reported.

Trump has accused James, a Democrat, of pursuing the case for political reasons as he runs for president in 2024.