Monday, March 25, 2024

Trump Says He'll Post $175 Million in Fraud Case After New Court Order

Trump Says He'll Post $175 Million in Fraud Case After New Court Order 

The Appellate Division, First Judicial Department of the New York State Supreme Court has granted a stay of enforcement on the $464 million judgment on former President Donald Trump with conditions, allowing the Trump Organization to avert having assets imminently seized by the New York attorney general.

The order came after defense attorneys argued a $464 million bond was impossible after having contracted four brokers to negotiate with more than 30 companies. Sureties don’t issue bonds that big for private individuals, and even if the Trump Organization was a public conglomerate they could issue such a bond to, it would require some $570 million in cash to cover additional premiums.

The court’s conditions for lowering the bond include President Trump posting $175 million within 10 days and the other orders on the judgment going into effect.

The judgment permanently bars former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg and comptroller Jeffrey McConney from serving in financial control of any New York business entity; permanently bars President Trump, Mr. Wesselberg, and Mr. McConney from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation for three years; bars President Trump from applying for loans from New York financial institutions for three years; and bars Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump from serving as an officer or director in New York for two years.

There was no stay requested for the continuance of an independent monitor overseeing financial matters in the Trump Organization or the installation of a compliance officer, and that will continue.

The stay is conditioned on the appeals being done by September.

President Trump was attending a hearing regarding the trial date in a separate case at the time, and during the break told reporters he would be posting the $175 million “quickly.”
He also released a statement shortly after the appellate ruling, criticizing Justice Engoron and saying that the new order showed how “ridiculous” his original order was.

“This is a confrontation between a Judge and those that rule above him - A very bad situation in which to place New York State and the Rule of Law!” he stated. “This is the 5th time in this case that he has been overturned, a record. His credibility, and that of Letitia James, has been shattered.”

He maintained he did nothing wrong, and that “New York should never be put in a position like this again.”

President Trump held a press conference at the Trump Building in New York, where he decried the legal action against him as “election interference.”

“‘Court cases’ and ’let’s try to tie him up and take as much as his money as possible,'” he said.

He claimed Justice Engoron was the “fraudulent valuator,” as his ruling included valuations that have baffled real estate experts, like $18 million for Mar-a-Lago.

“He ought to be looked at and James ought to be looked at,” he said.

President Trump said “every single one” of his cases was being run by the Biden administration but it was “backfiring” because the public can see the “lawfare” for what it is.

“We’re going through this weaponization of government to try to knock out someone’s political opponent,” President Trump said. “They could have started this when I left office ... and you know why they didn’t start it? Because they didn’t know I‘d be running, and they didn’t know how well I’d do.”

“If I wasn’t running, none of these trials would be happening,” he said.

“We'll see how it all works out in the end.”

‘Impossible’ Bond

The judgment had been entered on Feb. 23, kicking off a 30-day clock before execution of judgment, which ended Monday. Days before the deadline, President Trump blasted the judge and attorney general on social media, saying he had nearly $500 million in cash but that he had intended to use it for his campaign and it was “election interference” that his political opponents wanted him to use it all in court instead.
He told Fox News he would fight the case all the way up to the Supreme Court if necessary.

In a social media post on Monday morning, President Trump said the case was “rigged” and the disgorgement figure the judge set was what was fraudulent.

“These Radical Left Lunatics and Communists ask me to pay a ridiculous and completely unheard of fine of over $450,000,000 only because they saw a similar amount in my bank account. I had intended to use much of that hard earned money on running for President,” he wrote in another post. “They don’t want me to do that — ELECTION INTERFERENCE!”

The defense has maintained that no wrongdoing occurred, and stressed that no victims have been named who are owed the $464 million figure.

“The entire world is watching this unfold,” Eric Trump posted on social media the day before the deadline. “The notion of seizing properties owned by the Former President of the United States (and the front runner for President in 2024) - properties belonging to a company that has NEVER missed a payment, never been in default, never breached a covenant, built American skylines, has repeatedly made banks hundreds of millions of dollars while employing THOUSANDS of hard working New Yorkers - is shattering the trust of not just of New York (which is fragile at best) but in the entire legal system in the United States.”


At the center of the case are the Trump Organization’s statements of financial condition from 2011 to 2021, though an appeals court had put a statute of limitations on the case, cutting out claims before 2014 and transactions completed before 2016.

The statements are not official financial documents, but rather marketing pieces wherein Trump Organization summarized values of major assets, totaling to a net worth figure for President Trump that the court found to be routinely inflated.

The statements were used to introduce the company in several deals, including securing major loans for development projects. The defense has argued that these deals were done with sophisticated financial entities who read the disclaimer on the statements asking parties to do their own analyses, and did so.

For example, Deutsche Bank, a longtime Trump Organization lender, featured heavily in the trial and case claims. The bank testified that they did do their own analysis, including checking President Trump’s cash reserves in his bank statements, and testified that even if the numbers on the statements had been significantly cut it would not have changed the rate they ultimately offered Trump Organization.

Other parties including the Zurich insurance group also testified they also did their own analyses, and an appraiser hired by another lender testified he had been hired to look at 40 Wall Street with no input from Trump Organization. He disagreed with the organization’s own valuation, giving his employer a different figure.

In a Sept. 26, 2023, summary judgment, Justice Engoron found the defendants liable for fraud, and the trial beginning Oct. 2, 2023, would deal with materiality and intent to defraud.

During the trial, defendants sought to argue no fraud occurred, over the judge’s reminders not to reopen litigation to matters he had already decided. Toward the latter half of the trial, the defense opted to continue to do so, in order to preserve a record for appeal.

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