Appeals Court Approves Partial Stay for Trump, Requiring $464 Million to Appeal

Catherine Yang
By Catherine Yang
February 28, 2024Donald Trump
Appeals Court Approves Partial Stay for Trump, Requiring $464 Million to Appeal
Former President and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) meeting in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 24, 2024. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

An appeals court stayed some penalties of former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud judgment but denied his request to delay enforcement of the monetary penalties.

The court ordered arguments to be filed by March 18, granting in the interim a stay of the judgment that would prohibit the defendants from serving as officers or directors of any New York business or legal entity, from being in a position of financial control at any such entity, or from applying for loans, depending on the defendant.

“The interim stay is denied as to the enforcement of monetary judgment and the installation of an Independent Director of Compliance,” the order reads.

Second Request for Stay

In court filings on Feb. 28, the defense offered to post a $100 million bond as they appeal, which the attorney general’s office opposed, demanding the full amount.

“The urgency of this application is evident in light of the punitive and exorbitant disgorgement awarded against Appellants, the impact of the injunctive relief upon lawful businesses, the uncertainty created by the vague and overbroad directives Supreme Court issued, and the Attorney General’s public threats that she will seize Appellants’ real property forthwith to satisfy the Judgment,” the new filing reads.

After receiving a swift rejection from the trial court judge for a stay of judgment last week, attorneys for the defense filed a notice of appeal in the contentious case.

The fraud case against the former president and other Trump Organization executives and entities was brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, whom the defense has criticized as politically motivated, accusing her of campaigning on a platform to “get Trump.”

The massive penalties came after a 45-day trial that ended early this year, and New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron entered judgment on Feb. 23.

“The judge orders unprecedented and punitive disgorgement of nearly $460 million and overbroad permanent injunctive relief against Appellants in the absence of legal authority or factual support,” the filing by President Trump’s attorneys reads.

Attorney Clifford Robert, representing President Trump, Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and several Trump Organization entities, filed the brief on behalf of all defendants. Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg and comptroller Jeffrey McConney had also been named defendants.

He argued that the trial court judge also improperly considered evidence and claims outside the statute of limitations, flouting an order from the appeals court.

“The Judgment evinces Supreme Court’s continued unwillingness to comply with the directive in this Court’s June 27, 2023, decision that all untimely claims be dismissed and confirms that Supreme Court considered time-barred claims in awarding the Attorney General sweeping injunctive relief,” the filing reads.

The defendants have maintained that they did nothing wrong, and no party was harmed in the course of their financial transactions.

“It is undisputed that those transactions were private, complex commercial transactions fully governed by bilateral agreements negotiated by commercially savvy parties,” the new filing reads.

Deutsche Bank and Zurich insurance group representatives had testified at trial, both reporting that they had done independent analyses of the Trump Organization before issuing loans or insurance. The bank had also testified that it courted President Trump’s business as a person with a high net worth.


The penalties included the $363 million disgorgement figure for all defendants ($355 million applying to President Trump), subject to 9 percent interest, and have been backdated depending on the entity at issue.

The organization was also assigned ongoing monitorship by a third party, former Judge Barbara Jones, and a risk compliance officer, whose reports to the court may result in additional penalties including the cancellation of business certificates.

Mr. Weisselberg and Mr. McConney are also permanently banned from holding executive positions, President Trump is barred from holding executive positions or applying for loans for three years, and Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. are barred from holding executive positions for two years.

Pre-trial injunctions had also been ordered.

In October 2022, the attorney general requested an independent monitor be appointed to oversee the submission of Trump Organization financial information in the case, and it was granted. The court also barred the defendants from selling, transferring, or disposing of any non-cash assets without first giving the attorney general two weeks’ notice.

In August 2023, the attorney general requested summary judgment to find the defendants liable for inflating President Trump’s net worth, and the judge ruled in the state’s favor.

Justice Engoron had also ordered the cancellation of Trump Organization business certificates before the trial, but the order was quickly stayed by an appeals court, and the judge later vacated the order at the end of trial.

Attorney General Responds

In a reply letter, attorney Dennis Fan, writing for the attorney general, argued there was no reason to put off the financial penalties to President Trump and the Trump Organization.

The state attorney’s office stressed that it would be improper to allow President Trump to avoid paying the approximately $400 million even in the event of an appeal.

New York law requires defendants to put down the full amount of the penalty in an escrow account or post an appeal bond in that amount in the event that the appeal is unsuccessful.

“There is no merit to defendants’ contention that a full bond or deposit is unnecessary because they are willing to post a partial undertaking of less than a quarter of the judgment amount,” the letter reads.

They argue that the defendants have “all but conceded” that President Trump doesn’t have the cash on hand to pay the amount, and this is “precisely” why a full bond or deposit is necessary.

“Defendants’ approach would leave OAG with substantial shortfalls once this Court affirms the judgment,” the letter continued. “A prevailing plaintiff is entitled to have her award secured, and defendants have never demonstrated that Mr. Trump’s liquid assets could satisfy the full amount of the judgment.”

In an interview with ABC News after the multimillion-dollar verdict, Ms. James had said she was ready to ask the court to seize Trump Organization assets, including the 40 Wall Street Trump Building, which, she pointed out, she sees outside her window every day.

The request for a stay of judgment would have also paused the three-year ban on President Trump’s getting a loan from going into effect, which the attorney general opposed, pointing out it did not apply to sureties that could be used for the appeal.

“Moreover, a bar on new, additional loans does not impose any immediate burdens on defendants,” the state attorneys argued. “Even without the benefit of additional loans, the Trump Organization may continue to operate in New York, and defendants may continue to earn profits from the operation of the Trump Organization. A bar on new loans appropriately maintains the current state of defendants’ business, while protecting against further fraud.”

From The Epoch Times

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