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Donald Trump posts $175 million appeal bond he owes in NY civil fraud case

Grace Eliza Goodwin,Laura Italiano,Erin Snodgrass,Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert   

Donald Trump posts $175 million appeal bond he owes in NY civil fraud case
  • Trump has posted a $175 million bond following an appeals court's decision in his civil fraud case.
  • In total, Trump and three top Trump Organization execs owe New York nearly half a billion dollars.

Former President Donald Trump on Monday posted a $175 million appeal bond in his New York civil fraud case, an amount reflecting the big break a Manhattan appeals court granted him last week on the nearly half a billion dollars he and his company actually owe the state.

The former president secured the bond Monday via Knight Specialty Insurance Co., a Los Angeles surety company.

Knight published a certification that it provided Trump's bond.

By posting the bond before an April 4 deadline, Trump avoided the risk of New York's attorney general, Letitia James, seeking to collect on what he owes by selling off his New York properties at a city-run sheriff's sale. James had said she would come after his real estate if he missed his deadline.

Last month, Trump and executives at the Trump Organization were ordered to pay out $454 million plus interest in a New York civil fraud trial after Judge Arthur Engoron ruled they had conspired to inflate the value of their assets.

With interest accruing at $112,000 a day, that sum has since increased to a whopping $469 million. As of Monday, Trump was personally responsible for about $458 million of that.

But Trump was thrown a fiscal lifeline a week ago — the deadline for posting a bond for the nearly half-a-billion-dollar judgment — when an appellate court ruled that posting a bond for just $175 million of what he owes would suffice.

The bond sets the money aside — untouchable by either Trump or state officials — while he appeals the case. Whoever wins on appeal will get to keep the money.

"This monumental holding reigns in Judge Engoron's verdict, which is an affront to all Americans," Trump's lawyer Alina Habba wrote in a statement following Monday's appellate decision.

"This is the first important step in fighting back against Letitia James and her targeted witch hunt against my client, which started before she ever stepped foot in office," the lawyer said.

James' office had pushed back against lowering the bond amount, arguing that should Trump lose on appeal, state officials would need to chase him for whatever money he owed.

Trump's lawyers have made a strategy out of attempting to delay his court cases, and it's unclear how long the appeals process will take.

But under Monday's ruling, the earliest that first-level appellate arguments can be heard is September.

Given that timing, it's unlikely his appeals will be exhausted — and James will see any money — by Election Day, experts told Business Insider.

With the interest stacking up every day, he's betting pretty big on winning this appeal.

If Trump loses it, he and his associates will then owe the remaining amount, plus interest.

A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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