New York Attorney General resists Trump’s ‘unusual’ plea to delay $464M fraud judgment

New York Attorney General Letitia James is opposing Donald Trump’s recent request for a stay of his $464 million civil fraud judgment. James argues that Trump’s request is unreliable, procedurally improper, and built on a flawed premise.

Senior Assistant Solicitor General Dennis Fan stated in a recent filing that it is not uncommon for even billion-dollar judgments to be fully bonded on appeal. The defendants have raised concerns about the potential for a “fire sale” if they were to sell assets in order to generate cash for a bond or as a deposit. However, the alternative would be to transfer the risk of executing on the defendants’ illiquid assets to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).

Earlier this week, Trump’s lawyers made the argument that the size of the judgment and the need for him to offer properties as collateral have made it impossible for the former president to obtain a bond. They pointed out that he has been turned down by more than 30 insurance companies in his attempts to secure the bond.

According to the Attorney General (AG), the former president has not shown any evidence of attempting to secure a bond by using properties as collateral. The AG suggests that this issue is a result of Trump’s actions, as the value of his holdings is not as high as he claims.

The defendants have failed to provide any documentary evidence that clearly outlines the real property they offered to the sureties, the terms of the offer, or the reasons why the sureties declined the assets, according to the filing. It can be inferred that the sureties may have rejected the defendants’ specific holdings as collateral due to the requirement of a property appraisal, as well as the fact that the value of Mr. Trump’s real estate holdings is not as substantial as the defendants claim.

According to James, if Trump fails to obtain a single bond for the $464 million judgment, he may consider seeking multiple smaller bonds, ranging from “$100 or $200 million each.” Another option could be to consent to have his real estate assets held by the Supreme Court as a means to satisfy the judgment.

According to the filing, utilizing real estate as collateral for an appeal bond is not an impossible task.

The filing by the Attorney General also denounced Trump’s effort to present two affirmations from Alan Garten, the General Counsel of the Trump Organization. The Attorney General accused Garten of being directly involved in the fraudulent and illegal activities that led to the judgment in this case. Additionally, Trump’s broker, Gary Giulietti, provided another affirmation that was deemed “unreliable” by James.

The filing points out that Gary Giulietti’s affirmation fails to mention his role as an expert witness for the defendants during the trial, as well as the Supreme Court’s findings that his testimony lacked credibility. Additionally, it highlights that Mr. Giulietti has a personal financial interest in the outcome of the case, as his company earns commission from the Trump Organization, including $1.2 million in 2022.

In February, Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that Trump must pay $464 million in disgorgement and interest. The judge held Trump accountable for engaging in fraudulent financial practices, which involved inflating the value of his real estate assets and exaggerating his wealth over a period of ten years. As a result, Trump is prohibited from assuming any leadership role within a New York-based company for three years. Additionally, his sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, were each fined $4 million and barred from involvement for two years. The Trump sons have denied any involvement in wrongdoing.

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