New York AG says $175 million Trump fraud bond isn't properly backed, should be voided

Former President Donald Trump returns from a lunch break at Manhattan criminal court as jury selection continues in New York on April 18, 2024.

Jabin Botsford | Reuters

The New York Attorney General’s office on Friday asked a judge to effectively void a $175 million bond posted by former President Donald Trump to secure a much larger monetary damage award in his civil business fraud case as he appeals the judgment.

The AG’s office in a filing said Trump and other defendants in the case had failed to show there is enough identifiable collateral to back the bond for the judgment in Manhattan Supreme Court.

The filing notes that the surety Trump used to obtain the bond, Knight Specialty Insurance Company, is “a small insurer that is not authorized to write business in New York and thus not regulated by the state’s insurance department, had never before written a surety bond in New York or in the prior two years in any other jurisdiction, and has a total policyholder surplus of just $138 million.”

The filing opposes a joint motion by Trump and KSIC to justify the insurer as the surety company holding the bond.

Lawyers for AG Letitia James asked Judge Arthur Engoron to require Trump and other defendants to put up a replacement bond within seven days of ruling on the issue. James’ lawsuit against Trump led to the massive civil judgment against him.

A hearing on the bond dispute is set for Monday.

Engoron in February found Trump, the Trump Organization and other defendants liable for fraud, saying they had falsely inflated the value of real estate assets for years with the goal of boosting Trump’s net worth. Those actions in turn helped the company get better loan terms and other financial benefits.

Trump personally was ordered to pay $454 million in damages, an amount that is growing every day with interest. He is appealing the verdict.

Trump was required under New York law to post a bond to guarantee the judgment as he appeals the decision.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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