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Trump’s Legal Battle: Judge Grants Reprieve with $175m Fraud Bond Cut

Trump's Legal Battle: Judge Grants Reprieve with $175m Fraud
Trump's Legal Battle: Judge Grants Reprieve with $175m Fraud

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Trump’s Legal Battle: Judge Grants Reprieve with $175m Fraud Bond Cut

In New York, a judge has approved Donald Trump’s plea to halt his $464 million fraud judgment, allowing him a 10-day window to come up with a reduced sum of $175 million. Trump’s legal team previously cited difficulties in obtaining a bond from a private company for the entire amount. Failure to meet Monday’s deadline would have empowered New York authorities to initiate the seizure of his bank accounts and properties. However, a last-minute reprieve was granted by an appeals court, much to Trump’s relief, who expressed his respect for the decision and vowed compliance, indicating an intention to provide the required bond, equivalent securities, or cash.

During a news conference, Trump hinted at opting for a cash payment, emphasizing his substantial personal wealth. This reduced bond, if paid, would safeguard his assets during the ongoing appeal process. While the court postponed enforcement of certain penalties from the original judgment, such as barring Trump and his elder sons from business activities in New York, it retained a monitoring mechanism overseeing Trump’s enterprises, with the authority to signal any potential misconduct.

Earlier this year, Trump was found liable for artificially inflating asset values. The process of securing a bond necessitates demonstrating sufficient liquidity, typically through cash or stocks. Trump claimed to possess around $400 million in cash during testimony last year, a figure Forbes echoed in September 2023, estimating his cash and liquid assets at approximately $423 million.

Despite Trump’s claims, his lawyers asserted last week that he struggled to cover the $464 million penalty, despite approaching 30 financial firms for a bond. New York Attorney General Letitia James reiterated that Trump remains accountable for the substantial fraud judgment, emphasizing that the judgment, along with accrued interest, still stands.

The appellate court’s decision represents a win for Trump, according to University of Michigan Ross Business School professor Will Thomas, as it permits him to pursue an appeal without shouldering the full appeal bond cost. However, lawyer Mitchell Epner expressed surprise at the court’s granting of a stay, particularly in light of Trump’s social media claim of possessing $500 million in cash, which experts suggested could have served as adequate collateral for the full bond amount.


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