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Trump Struggles to Find Company for $464M Guarantee in Fraud Case

Donald Trump is facing challenges in finding a private company to provide the $464 million (£365 million) guarantee required in a New York civil fraud case against him.

The former president must either pay the entire amount in cash or obtain a bond to proceed with his appeal.

Failure to meet this requirement by March 25 could result in the state’s attorney general seizing some of his real estate assets.

Trump has expressed difficulty in securing a bond of such magnitude, describing it as “practically impossible.”

A bonding company typically guarantees the full amount to the New York court in exchange for a fee.

The requirement for a bond in the civil fraud case against Trump means that a company would be responsible for paying the amount if he loses his appeal and cannot afford to do so himself.

Trump stated that the bond demanded of him would be unattainable for any company, including his own, citing its unprecedented size.

His legal team detailed efforts to negotiate with a major insurance company, but they found that very few bonding companies were willing to consider a bond of such magnitude.

Despite efforts to secure a bond, Trump’s legal team disclosed that they had approached 30 companies without success.

To obtain a bond, an individual typically needs to demonstrate to the providing company that they possess sufficient liquidity, which often includes cash along with assets like stocks or securities that can be readily sold to cover the required amount.

Additionally, Trump’s two eldest sons are also obligated to pay millions of dollars in the case.

In addition to imposing the penalty on Trump, New York Judge Arthur Engoron prohibited him from operating any businesses in the state for three years after determining that the former president had artificially inflated assets to obtain more favorable loan terms.

Last month, a judge temporarily halted Mr. Trump’s business ban but rejected his request to post a reduced bond of $100 million to cover the fine.

In the most recent legal submission, the former president’s attorneys presented an affidavit from the president of a private insurance firm, who stated that “a bond of this size is rarely, if ever, seen.”

The lawyers emphasized that such large bonds are typically issued to the world’s largest public companies, not to individuals or privately held businesses.

Former federal prosecutor Diana Florence commented on Mr. Trump’s unique legal situation, noting that penalties of this magnitude are typically imposed on large corporations, making the next steps difficult to anticipate.

Getty Images Aerial view of the Mar-a-Lago Club
The beachfront resort of Mar-a-Lago is a national historic landmark in Palm Beach, Florida

His legal team has been employing delaying tactics as he appeals the verdict, but according to former federal prosecutor Diana Florence, “he might be out of rope” now.

“He’s facing the very real possibility that the AG [attorney general] will begin to liquidate [his assets], and he’s really dependent on whether a court is willing to give him more time,” Ms. Florence explained.

New York’s attorney general had granted a 30-day grace period from the ruling to allow Mr. Trump time to secure the funds, which expires next Tuesday. During this time, interest on the penalty has been accruing at a rate of at least $112,000 per day until he pays.

Mr. Trump’s legal team claimed that bond companies were unwilling to accept “hard assets such as real estate as collateral” for the bond, insisting on cash or “cash equivalents,” such as easily liquidated investments.

According to Forbes estimates, Mr. Trump’s net worth is approximately $2.6 billion, with $400 million in liquid assets, as testified by him last year.

However, the $464 million judgment is not his only financial burden. In January, he was ordered to pay $83 million after losing a defamation case to E. Jean Carroll, a woman he was found to have sexually abused. He has already posted a bond in that case.

Additionally, Mr. Trump faced another legal setback on Monday in one of the four criminal cases he is currently involved in. A New York judge denied his attempt to block the testimony of two key witnesses in a case where he is accused of falsifying business records to conceal a hush money payment.

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