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Trump has managed to hold on to his real estate empire after posting a $175 million bond. What happens now?

Donald Trump has posted his $175 million bail in his civil fraud case in New York, a week after he was handed an extraordinary lifeline just as the deadline arrived.

Judge Arthur Engoron ruled in February that Mr. Trump was liable for a decade-long scheme that routinely inflated the value of the Trump Organization’s assets to obtain favorable loans from banks and insurers. He ordered him to pay $354 million in fines and another $110. m plus interest.

As interest rates continued to climb to 9 percent or $120,000 per day, the exact total he owed as the deadline approached was closer to $468.1 million, with his lawyers claiming he had failed to find a bail bond company who was willing to stop the matter. cash – after approaching more than 30 – given the sheer size of the money involved.

On March 25, a panel of Appellate Division judges unexpectedly granted the Republican presidential candidate a 10-day extension and reduced the bond amount from $464 million.

Mr. Trump then promised on Truth Social that he would “abide by the Appellate Division’s decision and post a bond, equivalent securities or cash.”

On Easter Monday, Trump, with the help of California’s Knight Specialty Insurance Company, posted that $175 million bond after posting all the collateral in cash, owner Don Hankey said.

This means New York Attorney General Letitia James cannot yet begin seizing the former president’s assets — including some of the most prized properties in his real estate empire.

This is what can happen next:

What happens next for Trump?

Mr Trump – who is also fighting four criminal cases in Washington DC, New York, Georgia and Florida, while simultaneously campaigning for president, racking up an estimated $230,000 a day in legal fees – was granted a significant reprieve from the appellate judges appeal, but could still end up owing the full $464 million if he loses his appeal.

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But for now he has bought time, several months in fact, because the appeal will not take place until September at the earliest, when the court’s fall term begins.

However, this brings the case uncomfortably close to Election Day on November 5 – a time when many of the candidate’s other legal entanglements also threaten to come to a head.

Meanwhile, Trump has also seen a big improvement in his financial prospects in the past week after his tech arm, Trump Media and Technology, which operates Truth Social, began trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange. The shares initially sold like hotcakes on March 28, reaching a high of $79, sending the tycoon’s fortunes skyrocketing, a development he was able to capitalize on by selling his stake within six months for several billion dollars . That said, the offering has since been derided by trading experts as a volatile “meme stock” after shares lost 20 percent of their value over the Easter weekend in response to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing showing that it company made a loss of $58 million in 2023.

The next key date on Trump’s calendar is April 15, when jury selection begins in the unrelated “hush money” case against him in Manhattan, where he is accused of falsifying company records in 2016 to obtain payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and hide ex. –Playboy model Karen McDougal in exchange for their silence about his alleged affairs.

Donald Trump (Reuters)

Donald Trump (Reuters)

What’s next for Letitia James?

If Mr. Trump were to fall short, Ms. James had the power to seize his assets, including some of his most valuable properties, with the intention of reselling them to offset the total amount owed. The attorney general had the authority under New York law to enforce the order as soon as it was issued in February, but Trump was initially granted a 30-day grace period, which the appeals court ruling effectively extended to 40 days.

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But now that Mr Trump has posted bail, Ms James cannot seize his assets and must bide her time. If Trump ultimately loses his appeal in September, the case will be underway again.

If she were to attempt to seize the candidate’s accounts at that point, the process would first involve sending a prohibition order to banks and brokerage firms, ordering the freezing of his accounts. She would also need a court order to access the money.

Ms. James could also seize a defeated Mr. Trump’s properties, including his namesake Trump Tower.

Her office already started taking steps last month to recover some of the former president’s assets, in case he defaulted on his bail. In documents dated March 7, her office filed the trial judgment with the county clerk’s office in New York’s Westchester County — home to Trump’s Seven Springs estate and his Trump National Golf Club Westchester — a development that indicated her office was preparing to to take possession. of these properties should this become necessary.

New York Attorney General Letitia James (AP)New York Attorney General Letitia James (AP)

New York Attorney General Letitia James (AP)

What have both sides said about the fraud case?

Mr. Trump has repeatedly railed against Ms. James and Judge Engoron on Truth Social, denying any wrongdoing and baselessly claiming that the case against him was a “witch hunt” orchestrated by his enemies.

In a tirade on the eve of his original bond deadline, he said in a post on his platform: “I DID NOTHING WRONG!”

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“These radical left lunatics and communists are asking me to pay a ridiculous and completely unprecedented fine of over $450,000,000 just because they saw a similar amount of money in my bank account. I planned to use a lot of that hard-earned money to run for president. They don’t want me to do that – ELECTION INTERFERENCE!” he said.

For her part, Ms. James has said she is more than happy to begin seizing Trump’s property, should the need arise.

“If he does not have the money to pay off the judgment, we will pursue mechanisms in court to enforce the judgment and will ask the judge to seize his assets,” she told ABC News.

“We are prepared to ensure that judgment is paid to New Yorkers, and yes, I watch 40 Wall Street every day.”

Trump Tower in Manhattan (Reuters)Trump Tower in Manhattan (Reuters)

Trump Tower in Manhattan (Reuters)

How did Trump get here?

Ms James first filed her civil case against the Trump Organization in September 2022, charging Mr Trump, his three eldest children Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump (who was later barred), former chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg and sued former Controller Jeffrey McConney and ten related companies alleging they engaged in financial fraud by habitually misrepresenting the value of their real estate to potential lenders and tax officials for monetary gain.

Judge Engoron presided over an eleven-week jury trial between October and December, after which the defendants were found liable for fraud and ordered to give up their ill-gotten gains.

The judge issued a 92-page ruling on February 16 siding with Ms James, ruling that the “defendants failed to accept responsibility or impose internal controls to prevent future recurrences” and accused charged them with “blatantly submitting false financial information.” about ‘borrowing more and at lower rates’.

In addition to ordering the massive refund, he banned Trump from running a business in New York for three years and his sons for two years.

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