Trump unable to post bond for $454m judgment in civil fraud case

He may pay the sum out of his pocket or post a bond to avoid New York's seizure of properties

Former US president and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. AFP
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Donald Trump's efforts to secure a bond to cover a $454 million judgment in a New York civil fraud case has been rejected by 30 surety companies, his lawyers said on Monday, inching him closer to the possibility of having his properties in the state seized.

His lawyers wrote in a court filing that “obtaining an appeal bond in the full amount” of the judgment “is not possible under the circumstances presented”.

Mr Trump claimed last year that he has “fairly substantially over $400 million in cash,” but back-to-back courtroom defeats have pushed his legal debt past $500 million.

The former president must either pay the sum out of his own pocket or post a bond to avoid the state's seizure while he appeals against Justice Arthur Engoron's February 16 judgment against him for misstating property values to dupe lenders and insurers.

Mr Trump, two of his adult children and other Trump Organisation executives had so far approached the 30 companies through four brokers without success, his lawyers said.

The other defendants face judgments totalling $10 million.

A bond company would be on the hook for any payout if Mr Trump loses his appeal and proves unable to pay.

The case, brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James in September 2022, is one of several legal travails the businessman-turned-Republican candidate faces as he seeks an election rematch with Democratic President Joe Biden.

Mr Trump has denied wrongdoing and vowed to appeal the judgment, which threatens his family's real estate empire.

Updated: March 18, 2024, 11:33 PM