Trump Lawyer Says He’s ‘Prepared’ to Pay Nearly $400 Million Bond to Appeal Fraud Judgment

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
February 20, 2024Donald Trump
Trump Lawyer Says He’s ‘Prepared’ to Pay Nearly $400 Million Bond to Appeal Fraud Judgment
Republican candidate for President, former President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower en route to a pre-trial hearing at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on Feb. 15, 2024. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

A lawyer for Donald Trump said that the former president will pay the nearly $400 million bond required to appeal a fraud ruling in New York City.

“I can tell you what the rules are. Within 30 days, even if we choose to appeal this, and we will, we have to post the bond, which is the full amount and then some,” said Alina Habba during a Fox News interview on Feb. 19.

“We will be prepared to do that,” she said, adding that it’s “close to $400 million for something [where] he did nothing wrong.”

Analysts have said that the appeal bond equals President Trump’s $355 million judgment, handed down by New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron, and includes 9 percent post-judgment interest.

If the former president loses the appeal, the state of New York would collect the 9 percent, or roughly $30 million.

On Feb. 16, the judge found President Trump liable for fraud, saying he had inflated the value of Trump Organization properties, including his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, to obtain insurance and loans.

The former president denied wrongdoing in the civil case, which was brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

His attorneys claimed that the banks and other firms didn’t lose any money.

Another Trump lawyer, Christopher Kise, said on Feb. 19 that his team plans to appeal the decision and will focus on the judge’s definition of fraud.

“The case raises serious legal and constitutional questions regarding ‘fraud’ claims/findings without any actual fraud,” Mr. Kise said.

The decision also targeted President Trump’s company, several executives at the Trump Organization, and his two sons, Donald Jr. and Eric.

It imposes a three-year ban on President Trump from serving as an officer or director of any New York company and bars his sons for two years. This effectively requires the company to find new leadership, at least temporarily.

Eric and Donald Trump Jr. were each ordered to pay $4 million, their share of profits from the 2022 sale of President Trump’s Washington hotel. The company’s former longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, was ordered to pay $1 million.

Mr. Weisselberg and another longtime company executive, Jeffrey McConney, were barred from ever holding a corporate finance or leadership role in the state.

The judge also put the Trump Organization under the supervision of an independent monitor for at least three years, extending oversight that he ordered after Ms. James sued President Trump in 2022, and said the company must hire an independent compliance director to ensure that it follows financial reporting obligations and rules.

“This is a venial sin, not a mortal sin,” Judge Engoron wrote. “They did not rob a bank at gunpoint. Donald Trump is not Bernard Madoff. Yet, defendants are incapable of admitting the error of their ways.”

Even before the trial began, Judge Engoron ruled that Ms. James had proven that President Trump’s financial statements were fraudulent. The judge ordered some of the companies removed from his control and dissolved. An appeals court put that decision on hold.

‘Scare Tactic’

“What they’re trying to do between this case and my last case is put [Trump] out of business,” Ms. Habba said during the Fox interview. “It’s not gonna work, number one. Number two, what they’re doing is a scare tactic.

“Unfortunately, they picked the wrong guy to pick on, in my opinion, because he’s strong, he’s resilient and he happens to have a lot of cash.”

The attorney asserted again that the case is politically motivated against President Trump, “because they can’t beat him in November.”

She added, “So I want to use their words against them and invite them to show me how no one is actually above the law.”

During the trial, the former president called Judge Engoron “extremely hostile” and Ms. James “a political hack.” He also incurred $15,000 in fines for violating a gag order that the judge imposed after he made a disparaging and untrue social media post about a key court staffer.

President Trump said during trial testimony that his financial statements understated his net worth. He maintains that he is worth several billion dollars and testified last year that he had about $400 million in cash, in addition to properties and other investments.

“There were no victims because the banks made a lot of money,” he said on Feb. 16.

In November, a report from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index revealed that the former president’s net worth is up about $500 million—currently at $3.1 billion—since he left the White House in early 2021.

His holdings have appreciated between 2021 and 2023, including properties and buildings in Manhattan as well as his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, the report said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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