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Trump Hits Roadblock in Securing Bond for $464 Million Fraud Judgment

By Jake Beardslee · March 18, 2024

In brief…

  • Donald Trump faces "insurmountable difficulties" securing a $464 million bond to cover a civil fraud judgment
  • Trump was ordered to pay $464 million for using fraudulent financial statements that overvalued his assets
  • No surety bond providers are willing to accept Trump's real estate as collateral for the bond
  • Trump's attorneys argue that paying the full bond would require a "fire sale" of his assets, causing "irreparable injury"
Former President Donald Trump is struggling to obtain a bond to cover a $464 million civil fraud judgment, as surety bond providers are unwilling to accept his real estate as collateral.  Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America/Wikimedia

Former President Donald Trump is facing major obstacles in his efforts to appeal a $464 million civil fraud judgment against him, according to a new court filing from his attorneys. Trump was found liable last month in a lawsuit brought by the New York Attorney General’s Office, which accused him and his company of fraudulently misstating the value of real estate assets for loan and tax purposes.

In their filing, Trump’s attorneys said they have been unable to obtain an appeal bond for the full judgment amount as is typically required. “Defendants have faced what have proven to be insurmountable difficulties in obtaining an appeal bond for the full $464 million,” the filing states. While insisting Trump is “financially stable,” his lawyers said real estate assets cannot be used as collateral for such a large bond, according to ABC News.

Gary Guilietti, president of insurance surety Lockton Companies who testified on Trump’s behalf at trial, said in an affidavit that no bond companies have allowed Trump’s properties to be used as collateral. This leaves the only option as posting 120% of the bond value in cash, totaling over $557 million - an amount Guilietti said the Trump Organization does not have on hand.

Trump’s attorneys are now asking an appellate court to permit a lesser bond amount, arguing a “fire sale” of real estate holdings to cover the full bond would cause “massive, irrecoverable losses.” However, the New York Attorney General’s Office opposes a reduced bond, contending Trump and his companies “will attempt to evade enforcement of the judgment or to make enforcement more difficult.” The case will continue to be litigated as Trump denies wrongdoing and pursues an appeal.