Trump temporarily allowed to run NY company but remains on hook to pay $454M penalty

Donald Trump will be allowed to temporarily steer the family company and apply for loans from Empire State banks to help post a bond to cover his $454 million civil fraud judgment — but will still be on the hook for paying the massive penalty, a New York appeals court found Wednesday.

A judge at the New York Appellate Division’s First Department granted the former president a partial and temporary pause of the penalties stemming from him being found liable for drastically inflating the value of his assets — but rejected his bid to stop the hefty monetary penalty from being enforced.

The ruling from Associate Justice Anil C. Singh came hours after Trump’s lawyers claimed that the judgment — which they called “exorbitant” and “punitive” — has made it “impossible” for him to secure a bond covering the $454 million he owes New York state.

The New York Appellate Division’s First Department granted the former president a partial and temporary pause of the penalties. SHAWN THEW/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Trump, 77, declared in a legal filing Wednesday that he’ll post a bond of $100 million instead — or less than one-fourth of what he’s been ordered to pay.

The decision from Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron had barred Trump and his children, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, from getting a loan from an Empire State-based bank or running a New York-based company for three years.

The appeals court decision also temporarily lifts the business ban against Trump’s sons. In all, the three and the other defendants in the case owe more than $465 million to the state.

Trump’s camp did not immediately respond to a request for comment about how the judge’s ruling, which now allows them to seek a loan from a New York bank, impacts whether they will post the full amount of the bond as they are required to do.

Typically, defendants in civil cases are required to post the full amount of the penalty they’ve been ordered to pay in cash — or in the form of a bond guaranteed by a third party — in order to pause enforcement of a judgment while they appeal.

New York Attorney General Letitia James’s Office filed back on Wednesday. Getty Images for (BAM) Brooklyn Academy of Music

But Trump’s lawyers claimed that “the exorbitant and punitive amount of the judgment coupled with an unlawful and unconstitutional blanket prohibition on lending transactions would make it impossible to secure and post a complete bond.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James’s Office fired back with their own filing Wednesday arguing that “there is no merit” to Trump’s declaration that he’ll post less than one-quarter of the amount he owes.

State lawyers added that the 2024 Republican presidential frontrunner has essentially admitted that he doesn’t have enough cash in reserve to cover the payments.

“Defendants all but concede that Mr. Trump has insufficient liquid assets to satisfy the judgment,” Senior Assistant Solicitor General Dennis Fan wrote.

Judge Arthur Engoron attends the closing arguments in the Trump Organization civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., January 11, 2024. REUTERS

“These are precisely the circumstances for which a full bond or deposit is necessary.”

James has vowed to ask a judge to seize Trump’s assets — including some of his prized Big Apple properties — if Trump fails to get the judgment stayed, and fails to cough up what he owes.

The three-month civil fraud trial produced evidence that Trump propped up his business between 2011 and 2021 by goosing up the value of assets like his namesake Midtown tower and Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida on annual financial filings.

Trump’s Big Apple penthouse and palatial Palm Beach estate were among more than a dozen properties he regularly overvalued to secure cushy interest rates that saved the Trump Organization hundreds of millions of dollars, according to accountants and real estate appraisers whom James’ office called to the stand.

The Trump Building on 40 Wall Street in New York. SARAH YENESEL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Trump’s business falsely claimed in the filings that the ex-president’s triplex at Trump Tower was 30,000 square feet — rather than its true size of 11,000 square feet, trial evidence revealed.

Engoron’s ruling also delivered a fresh financial blow to Trump just weeks after he was slapped with an $83.3 million jury verdict in a defamation damages case in Manhattan federal court.

Trump has bashed the case as a politically motivated “witch hunt” and has insisted that the appeals courts will rule in his favor.

Written by SaleemBaloch

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