Donald Trump posts $175 million bond in civil fraud case

NEW YORK: Embattled former US president Donald Trump posted a $175 million bond in his New York civil fraud case Monday, a court document showed, avoiding asset seizures while his case winds through the appeals process.

Last week, a New York appeals court cut a $454 million bond payment he was originally required to make, reducing the sum to $175 million and giving him 10 days to pay a bond in that amount.

The nearly half billion sum he originally owed had raised the possibility that New York authorities would move to seize Trump assets if he could not pay, but the reduction -- and his finding a company to put up the bond, as announced Monday -- has given him breathing room.

"I greatly respect the decision of the appellate division and I will post $175 million in cash and bonds or security or whatever is necessary very quickly, within the 10 days," Trump said at the time.

The lifeline came from a California outfit called Knight Specialty Insurance Company, which announced the bond in a document released by the court Monday.

The 77-year-old real estate magnate, who has once again clinched the Republican nomination, received the fine after Judge Arthur Engoron found him and his two adult sons guilty in a non-jury trial, ruling that they and his family company lied about the value of assets, deceiving banks and insurers.

They were accused of having inflated the valuation of properties such as Trump Tower and a building at 40 Wall Street in New York by billions of dollars to obtain more favorable bank loans and insurance terms.

Engoron's decision resulted in a $454 million judgment against Trump although the ex-president is appealing the order to make him pay it.

Trump is in prosecutors' crosshairs for a series of alleged crimes, ranging from falsifying business records in a hush money case to trying to overturn the 2020 election, when he became the first president in modern US history to refuse to concede and stoked a mob of supporters to march on Congress.

Attacking family members

On Monday the New York judge presiding over Trump's trial for allegedly making pre-election hush money payments to a porn star expanded a gag order against him to include the family of those involved in the case.

The move comes after the Republican presidential candidate lashed out at Judge Juan Merchan and his daughter in a series of posts on Truth Social.

"This pattern of attacking family members of presiding jurists and attorneys assigned to his cases serves no legitimate purpose," Merchan wrote.

"It merely injects fear in those assigned or called to participate in the proceedings, that not only they, but their family members as well, are 'fair game' for defendant's vitriol."

Trump faces charges of falsifying business records for payments made by his lawyer Michael Cohen on the eve of the 2016 presidential election to porn star Stormy Daniels to make sure she did not publicize a sexual encounter.

The case will kick off on April 15 and marks the start of the first ever criminal trial of a former president.

Asked by reporters if he would take the witness stand, Trump has said he "would have no problem testifying."

Trump now has four criminal indictments to his name and faces 88 felony counts for a wide variety of alleged criminality.

( Source : AFP )
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