Updated March 22nd, 2024 at 07:28 IST

New York Attorney General Mulls Seizing Donald Trump's Assets as Ex-Prez Struggles to Pay the Court

The New York attorney general’s office has filed judgments in Westchester County, indicating that the state is preparing to seize Trump's assets.

Reported by: Bhagyasree Sengupta
Former US President Donald Trump attends the closing argument in the Trump Organisation Civil Fraud trial at New York Supreme Court | Image:AP / File Photo
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New York – As former US President Donald Trump continues to navigate through his legal battles, the New York attorney general’s office has filed judgments in Westchester County, indicating that the state is preparing to seize Trump's assets. According to CNN, the state lawyers entered into this judgment on March 6, just one week after Judge Arthur Engoron ordered the former US President, sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, and the Trump Organization to pay a whopping $464 million in the civil fraud case. Earlier this week, the lawyers of the business-mogul-turned-politician revealed that Trump failed to secure bonds of worth $454 million, the money he individually owed in the case. 

It is pertinent to note that entering the judgment would be the first step a creditor would take in an attempt to recover the property. The judgment primarily focused on Trump's golf course and private estate north of Manhattan, known as Seven Springs. If the assets get seized, other actions would include putting liens on such assets, moving to foreclose on properties, or taking other actions in court, CNN reported. As per the reports, the judgement will focus on the former US President's properties in New York, including the famous Trump Tower, his penthouse at Trump Tower, 40 Wall Street, his hotel abutting Central Park, and several other apartment buildings. However, the judgement does not cover Trump's properties in Florida. Hence, Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate is safe from the court's lens. 

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Trump gets a deadline 

The former US President now has four days to satisfy the judgment or convince the appeals court to allow a smaller amount or just differ posting the payment until after the appeal. On Thursday, the former reality television star explained that putting up the money ordered by the court is “very expensive”. “Even though I did nothing wrong, a Radical Left New York Judge, a true Trump Hater, Arthur Engoron (Are we allowed to speak about his Unconstitutional Gag Order?), picked a number out of THIN AIR, $355,000,000, plus interest (reminiscent of John Lovitz, “The Liar,” on SNL when it was good), & wants me to bond it, which is not possible for bonding companies to do in such a high amount, before I can even Appeal. That is CRAZY! If I sold assets, and then won the Appeal, the assets would be forever gone. Also, putting up money before an Appeal is VERY EXPENSIVE,” the ex-US President wrote on his social media platform TruthSocial. “When I win the Appeal, all of that money is gone, and I would have done nothing wrong. The Crooked Judge, who has already been overturned 4 times on this case (a record!), fully understands this. He gave us a demand which he knows is impossible to do. This Witch Hunt, between a bad Judge and a Corrupt & Racist Attorney General, is horrible for New York. Businesses are FLEEING, while Violent Crime flourishes. ELECTION INTERFERENCE!” he added. 

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Amid the chaos, Trump's lawyers have dismissed all the suggestions the New York attorney general’s office made about how Trump can pay bond. One of the suggestions included the idea that the former president could get several underwriters to secure bonds totalling the judgment. However, this would still require him to post half a billion dollars in cash or stock. If no arrangement is met, New York Attorney General Letitia James maintained that she will commence steps to seize assets, CNN reported. “The suggestion is both impractical and unjust. The Attorney General cites no New York case law to support this contention. In any event, from the perspective of risk, the Attorney General’s proposal of a ‘court-appointed officer’ to ‘hold real estate’ is functionally equivalent to what the Supreme Court has already imposed through the requirement of a court-appointed monitor to oversee the Defendants’ business operations,” Trump’s lawyers wrote in a court filing. They also argued that being forced to sell properties at a fire sale would cause irreparable injury, since Trump would not be able to recover the assets if he ultimately wins the appeal. 

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Published March 22nd, 2024 at 07:28 IST