Trump posts $175 mn bond in NY civil fraud case

If Trump wins, he won’t have to pay the state anything and will get back the money he has put up now….reports Asian Lite News

Donald Trump has posted a $175 million bond in his New York civil fraud case, halting collection of the more than $ 454 million he owes and preventing the state from seizing his assets to satisfy the debt while he appeals, according to a court filing.

A New York appellate court had given the former president 10 days to put up the money after a panel of judges agreed last month to slash the amount needed to stop the clock on enforcement.

The bond Trump is posting with the court now is essentially a placeholder, meant to guarantee payment if the judgment is upheld. If that happens, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee will have to pay the state the whole sum, which grows with daily interest.

If Trump wins, he won’t have to pay the state anything and will get back the money he has put up now.

Until the appeals court intervened to lower the required bond, New York Attorney General Letitia James had been poised to initiate efforts to collect the judgment, possibly by seizing some of Trump’s marquee properties. James, a Democrat, brought the lawsuit on the state’s behalf.

The court ruled after Trump’s lawyers complained it was a practical impossibility to get an underwriter to sign off on a bond for the $ 454 million, plus interest, that he owes.

Trump is fighting to overturn a judge’s February 16 finding that he lied about his wealth as he fostered the real estate empire that launched him to stardom and the presidency. The trial focused on how Trump’s assets were valued on financial statements that went to bankers and insurers to get loans and deals.

Trump denies any wrongdoing, saying the statements actually lowballed his fortune, came with disclaimers and weren’t taken at face value by the institutions that lent to or insured him.

The state courts’ Appellate Division has said it would hear arguments in September. A specific date has not been set. If the schedule holds, it will fall in the final weeks of the presidential race.

Under New York law, filing an appeal generally doesn’t hold off enforcement of a judgment. But there’s an automatic pause in legalese, a stay if the person or entity obtains a bond guaranteeing payment of what’s owed.

Courts sometimes grant exceptions and lower the amount required for a stay, as in Trump’s case.

Trump’s lawyers had told the appeals court more than 30 bonding companies were unwilling to take a mix of cash and real estate as collateral for a $ 454 million-plus bond. Underwriters insisted on only cash, stocks or other liquid assets, the attorneys said.

They said most bonding companies require collateral covering 120 per cent of the amount owed.

Trump recently claimed to have almost a half-billion dollars in cash along with billions of dollars worth of real estate and other assets but said he wanted to have some cash available for his presidential run.

Recent legal debts have taken a sizable chunk out of Trump’s cash reserves.

In addition to the $ 175 million he had to put up in the New York case, Trump has posted a bond and cash worth more than $ 97 million to cover money he owes to writer E. Jean Carroll while he appeals verdicts in a pair of federal civil trials. Juries found that he sexually assaulted her in the 1990s and defamed her when she went public with the allegation in 2019. He denies all the allegations.

In February, Trump paid the $ 392,638 in legal fees a judge ordered him to cover for The New York Times and three reporters after he unsuccessfully sued them over a Pulitzer Prize-winning 2018 story about his family’s wealth and tax practices.

In March, a British court ordered Trump to pay to pay legal fees of 300,000 pounds ($ 382,000) to a company he unsuccessfully sued over the so-called Steele dossier that contained salacious allegations about him. Trump said those claims were false.

Trump could eventually generate cash by selling some of the nearly 60 per cent of stock he owns in his newly public social media company, Trump Media & Technology Group but that would be a longer-term play. Trump’s stake could be worth billions of dollars, but a lock-up provision prevents insiders like him from selling their shares for six months.

Trump loses $1bn as stock value media firm plunges

Former President Trump’s social media company plunged in the stock market after reporting a $58 million annual loss in Monday regulatory filings.

Shares of Trump Media & Technology Group, the parent company of Trump’s Truth Social platform, closed with a loss of 21.4 percent Monday. The price of a share dropped to $48.66 by the end of trading Monday, falling $13.30 from its opening price of $59.83

Trump Media merged with “blank check” company Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC) in March, allowing Trump’s social media company to become publicly traded. DWAC shares closed at just less than $50 the day before the newly combined company hit the stock market.

The nosedive in Trump Media shares came after the company reported a loss of $58 million last year in Monday filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Trump Media made $4.1 million in revenue in 2023 — and roughly $750,000 in the fourth quarter of 2023 — compared to $16 million spent on operating expenses and $39.4 million on interest expenses, according to the filing.

Trump Media “expects to continue to incur operating losses and negative cash flows from operating activities for the foreseeable future, as it works to expand its user base, attracting more platform partners and advertisers,” the company said in the Monday filing.

“TMTG’s ability to become profitable and generate positive cash flow depends on TMTG’s success in growing its user base, platform partners, and advertisers,” the company continued, adding that it has begun testing video streaming and other content-hosting capabilities to expand its appeal and use.

“Given these uncertainties, TMTG believes it is premature for TMTG to predict when it will attain profitability and positive cash flows from its operations,” the company said.

Trump Media had a strong stock market debut, reaching a share price of $79.38 on its first day of trading. But by Thursday, the last day of trading for the week before the Easter holiday, the company’s stock price had settled near $62 a share.

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