NY AG Urges Appeals Court to Disregard Trump’s Attempt to Avoid Paying $464 Million Civil Fraud Fine

On the left, we see President-elect Donald Trump engaging in a conversation with reporters after a meeting with French businessman Bernard Arnault at Trump Tower in New York on January 9, 2017. The image captures Trump’s interaction with the media during his transition period. On the right, we have New York Attorney General Letitia James addressing the press during a briefing on February 16, 2024, in New York. Letitia James’ confident and composed demeanor reflects her role as a prominent figure in the legal landscape. Both images capture key moments in the respective individuals’ careers and provide a glimpse into their public personas.

Donald Trump recently posted a $91.63 million bond in New York to settle a defamation and sexual abuse case. This move demonstrates his ability to gather substantial amounts of money. However, New York State Attorney General, Letitia James, is now focusing on the $464 million civil fraud fine that the former president has been evading.

As previously reported by Law&Crime, Trump recently inquired about the possibility of posting only a portion of the $464 million penalty, or even none at all, as he sought a stay on appeal.

He claimed that it would be “impossible” for him to secure the necessary funding without certain conditions. Specifically, he requested a temporary lift on the ban that prevents him from conducting business in the Empire State. This would allow him to gather the required funds. Additionally, he sought permission to contribute an initial amount of $100 million upfront.

In her 132-page memorandum opposing Trump’s motion for a stay on Monday, James had already made it clear that she would start seizing his assets, including the Trump Building at 40 Wall Street, if the former president claimed he was unable to repay the people of New York.

Related Coverage:

In February, when the matter was before New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, Trump’s attempt to halt the enforcement of the fine was unsuccessful. The justice criticized the ex-president’s defense lawyers, stating that they had not provided any explanation or justification for requesting a stay.

Read More:  Netanyahu counters international concerns regarding an attack on Rafah

According to James, there have been no changes even after several weeks have passed.

In a recent statement, James criticized the defendants for not providing any evidence to support their baseless assertion that it is impossible to post a bond or deposit funds without selling properties.

According to James, Trump and his co-defendants have failed to provide sufficient justification for the extraordinary relief they are seeking. Additionally, state law mandates that in order to obtain an automatic stay, an appeal bond or a deposit of funds must be made with the trial court. This amount should be enough to cover the entire judgment if the appeal is unsuccessful.

According to James, Trump’s offer, which he chose himself, falls short of even a quarter of what he actually owes, including interest. Additionally, there has been no disclosure from Trump or his co-defendants regarding their plans to secure funding.

James wrote that the defendants have referred to Mr. Trump as a “multi-billionaire” without providing evidence that they approached sureties with his claimed net worth and assets, and failed to obtain a bond. Moreover, the defendants argue that Mr. Trump’s stake in his 40 Wall Street property would be sufficient to cover any judgment, but they have not confirmed whether sureties have rejected this property, as well as his other real estate holdings, private jets, or helicopters as collateral for an appeal bond.

According to James, Trump’s attorneys initially suggested that an appeal bond would necessitate Trump and his co-defendants to present the entire amount in cash to a surety. However, James points out that Trump has not clarified why he couldn’t provide the same surety with an irrevocable letter of credit or real estate-backed securities.

The court was also notified by the state attorney general about the concern regarding the constantly changing financial circumstances of Trump. According to her, his financial situation is fluctuating almost on a daily basis due to the multiple indictments he faces. She further argued that if Trump is permitted to delay the payment of the civil fraud fine through an appeal, it will only complicate the process of collecting the fine in the future.

Read More:  Three individuals charged with federal firearms offenses in relation to shooting at Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade

According to James, there is a significant risk that defendants will try to evade or make enforcement of the judgment more difficult if they are not required to provide a full bond or deposit. She points out that despite the presence of an independent monitor, defendants failed to disclose tax returns for six Trump Organization entities in November 2023. Additionally, they transferred $40 million in cash, including $29 million to Mr. Trump, without informing the monitor beforehand, which violated the Supreme Court’s orders.

Following the court’s post-trial decision, James stated that Trump and his co-defendants revealed that they now claimed to have multiple entities operating in New York that have supposedly relocated to a golf club in Florida.

The motion points out that the defendants tried to relocate the assets while simultaneously arguing to the court that these assets cannot be easily disposed of or hidden away from the jurisdiction.

The trial for Trump’s alleged involvement in hush money payments to adult actress Stormy Daniels, to keep their affair secret before the 2016 presidential election, will begin in New York on March 25. This day holds great significance for the former president as it also marks the deadline for him to post at least 110% of the bond in the civil fraud case, according to Bloomberg’s recent report.

James requested the appeals court to refrain from staying the enforcement of additional injunctive relief, as requested by Trump and his co-defendants. This relief includes restrictions on the Trump Organization from seeking loans for a period of three years, a prohibition on defendants serving as officers or directors of New York businesses for two to three years, and a permanent ban on Allen Weisselberg, Trump’s former chief financial officer, and Jeffrey McConney, the former corporate controller, from holding any financial managerial positions in the state.

Read More:  7 Oregon Towns People Are Fleeing As Soon As Possible

New loans or specific jobs may be of financial interest to the defendant, but the public interest must take precedence over these considerations, according to James. This is especially true in cases where defendants have a history of persistent misconduct.

The attorney general’s filing emphasizes the confidence in the failure of Trump’s overarching appeal.

According to the argument made by the lawyer, Engoron’s 92-page post-trial opinion revealed the abundant evidence presented by 40 witnesses over 11 weeks. This evidence clearly demonstrated that Trump’s statements were filled with blatant misrepresentations and omissions. The lawyer asserted that this opinion eliminated any chance and grounds for a successful appeal.

The state attorney general urged the appeals court to act swiftly if it finds that any stay of relief is necessary, even if it is just a partial stay for a specific portion of the owed amount.

The Court should consider scheduling the appeal for the September 2024 Term, according to their statement. Additionally, due to the extensive record produced during the Supreme Court’s 11-week bench trial, the defendants should be required to perfect their appeal by June 3, 2024. Furthermore, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) should submit a respondent’s brief by August 1, 2024, and the defendants should have until August 22, 2024, to file any reply brief. These timelines will provide ample opportunity for both parties to thoroughly prepare and present their arguments for the appeal in that term.

Read More:

Leave a Comment