Will Letitia James seize Trump Tower? Ex-president granted additional time to pay fraud bond | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Donald Trump has been granted an additional 10 days to pay $175m of the $464m civil fraud judgment in opposition to him following a shock intervention by a panel of state Appellate Division judges on Monday.

The Republican presidential candidate had been because of pay the total quantity by 25 March however his attorneys notified an appeals courtroom that discovering an organization to again such a lot of cash had confirmed a “practical impossibility”.

Mr Trump has hotly objected to a “fire sale” of his property empire – promoting off belongings to generate money to fulfill the bond – however failing to take action dangers permitting such prized properties as Trump Tower in Manhattan, so integral to his model, to fall into the fingers of New York legal professional basic Letitia James, who has already stated she is more than pleased to repossess his holdings.

The former president and present presumptive Republican presidential nominee has approached “about 30 surety companies through four separate brokers”, his attorneys stated, however had to date come again empty-handed within the face of “insurmountable difficulties”.

“Critical among these challenges is not just the inability and reluctance of the vast majority of sureties to underwrite a bond for this unprecedented sum, but, even more significantly, the unwillingness of every surety bond provider approached by defendants to accept real estate as collateral,” his attorneys wrote.

The corporations approached “will only accept cash or cash equivalents” akin to marketable securities, they stated, and would usually “require collateral of approximately 120 per cent of the amount of the judgment,” which, on this case, involves virtually $560m.

Sureties would then possibly cost bond premiums of roughly 2 per cent per 12 months “with two years in advance – an upfront cost over $18m,” in line with the attorneys.

That cash wouldn’t be recoverable even when Mr Trump have been to in the end achieve overturning the judgment in opposition to him.

Before the extension was granted, the posh property tycoon turned populist politician had been given till 25 March to seek out the total quantity of the judgement if he wished to attraction Judge Arthur Engoron’s ruling final month that he should pay round $354m in fines and an extra $110m plus in curiosity after being discovered responsible by a jury of misrepresenting the worth of Trump Organization belongings between 2011 and 2021 to acquire beneficial loans from banks and insurers.

With curiosity ticking ever-upwards at 9 per cent or $120,000 a day, the precise complete he owed by deadline day, in line with the useful Trump Debt Counter web site, was nearer to $468.1m.

The case was introduced in opposition to the forty fifth president and his fellow executives in September 2022 by Ms James, whose workplace requested the appeals courtroom to reject Mr Trump’s protestations about being unable to seek out the cash.

In a courtroom submitting submitted on 20 March, she argued that the courtroom ought to dismiss the defendant’s complaints about being unable to fulfill his bond requirement as they’re “procedurally improper”, saying he had had ample time to lift his objections beforehand.

She added that the Trump camp’s claims “boil down to the proposition that sureties have been unwilling to accept Mr Trump’s real estate holdings as collateral” however that the defendants had failed to provide “documentary evidence that demonstrates precisely what real property they offered to sureties, on what terms that property was offered, or precisely why the sureties were unwilling to accept the assets”.


Ms James additional argued that, even when the courtroom have been to just accept Mr Trump’s argument that actual property is troublesome for a surety to just accept as collateral for a bond, they’d did not recommend a severe various.

“If he does not have funds to pay off the judgement, then we will seek judgment enforcement mechanisms in court and we will ask the judge to seize his assets,” she informed ABC News lately.

“We are prepared to make sure that the judgement is paid to New Yorkers, and yes, I look at 40 Wall Street each and every day.”

It seems that Ms James’s workplace wasted no time in taking the primary steps in direction of recovering a number of the former president’s belongings — however not in Manhattan.

Filings dated 7 March revealed that state attorneys entered the judgment from the Manhattan civil fraud trial with the county clerk’s workplace in New York’s Westchester County — residence to the previous president’s Seven Springs property and his Trump National Golf Club Westchester. Entering a judgment signifies that her workplace is starting the method of taking possession of Mr Trump’s properties.

Since the civil fraud trial happened in Manhattan, the place Trump Tower and 40 Wall Street are positioned, a judgement there has already been entered. Massive excellent loans on these properties, although, imply they’re unlikely to be among the many most liable to being seized.

Mr Trump was in a position to safe a $91.6m bond earlier this month enabling him to attraction the defamation verdict in opposition to him within the E Jean Carroll case by the Federal Insurance Company, a subsidiary of the Chubb Corporation, whose CEO was appointed to a commerce advisory committee through the Trump administration.

However, the identical firm doesn’t seem like ready to assist him this time round.

Protesters exterior Trump Tower in Manhattan


On 20 March, The New York Post quoted Trump insiders as saying that the previous president could also be inclined to easily “do nothing” moderately than proceed to scramble to lift the cash from corporations, rich pals or donors or file for Chapter 11 chapter, which might in any case not rid him of money owed accrued by fraud and definitively undermine his claims to be a billionaire businessman and due to this fact, probably, his electoral attraction.

If Mr Trump doesn’t present the cash by the revised deadlined, Ms James can be entitled to grab his financial institution accounts and actual property belongings, together with Trump Tower – whose golden escalator he famously sailed down in June 2015 to announce his preliminary presidential run – which might then go away Mr Trump to gamble on his with the ability to get better his belongings later by way of an attraction to the US Supreme Court.

“Even if there is a taking, it doesn’t mean he can’t take it back later,” the Trump supply informed the newspaper.

The Post additionally quotes one other of the previous president’s allies who says the candidate believes he has a robust case for overturning the fraud resolution in opposition to him as a result of “it will have a chilling effect on people who do business in New York because it could happen to anyone.”

They proceed: “There will be severe consequences – not an insurrection. People will stop doing business in New York. No one will take the risk, and lenders are now spooked.

“The real estate market is already a disaster, with office buildings worth a fraction of what they were once worth, and there are metastasizing effects when a large part of the city’s budget is from real estate.”

Time will inform. And the clock continues to be ticking.