Trump faces 'insurmountable difficulties' in securing $464M bond in civil fraud case

ByAaron Katersky and Peter Charalambous ABCNews logo
Tuesday, March 19, 2024
Trump unable to make $464M bond in NY fraud case, lawyers tell court
Donald Trump is facing "insurmountable difficulties" in obtaining a bond to satisfy the $464 million civil fraud judgment, his attorneys said Monday.

Former President Donald Trump is facing "insurmountable difficulties" in obtaining a bond to satisfy the $464 million civil fraud judgment, his attorneys said Monday in a new appellate court filing.

Judge Arthur Engoron in February ordered Trump to pay $464 million in disgorgement and interest after holding him liable for doing a decade's worth of business with fraudulent financial statements that overvalued his real estate holdings and hyped his wealth. Trump was also barred from leading any New York company for three years. His sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump were also fined $4 million apiece and barred for two years.

"Defendants have faced what have proven to be insurmountable difficulties in obtaining an appeal bond for the full $464 million," according to an affirmation by Trump Organization general counsel Alan Garten.

While Garten said Trump is "financially stable" and maintains "substantial assets," the magnitude of the judgment would require him to use his real estate as collateral for the bond. So far, according to Garten's affirmation, no surety bond provider approached by Trump is willing to accept real estate as collateral, including Chubb, the insurance giant underwriting Trump's bond in the E. Jean Carroll case.

"For Defendants, this presents a major obstacle," Garten wrote.

Trump family judgments in civil fraud case.
ABC News

Trump's attorneys, who have called the judgment "unconstitutionally excessive," asked an appellate court again on Monday to allow Trump to secure a bond in a lesser amount.

"Obtaining such cash through a 'fire sale' of real estate holdings would inevitably result in massive, irrecoverable losses -- textbook irreparable injury," defense lawyers Alina Habba and Clifford Robert wrote.

According to the filing, Gary Guilietti -- the president of insurance surety Lockton Companies who testified in Trump's defense at trial -- has helped coordinate the Trump Organization's outreach to bond companies. Guilietti said in an affidavit that surety companies have not allowed the Trump Organization to use its properties as collateral, leaving the company with the only option of posting 120% of the bond in the form of cash and cash equivalents, totaling $557,491,716.

"While it is my understanding that the Trump Organization is in a strong liquidity position, it does not have $1 billion in cash or cash equivalents," Guilietti wrote.

The New York Attorney General's Office has objected to a lesser bond, arguing Trump and his co-defendants "will attempt to evade enforcement of the judgment or to make enforcement more difficult."

The former president has denied all wrongdoing and has said he will appeal.