New York Court Denies Trump’s Request to Pause Fine Payment

New York Court Denies Trump’s Request to Pause Fine Payment

Date:

A New York court has denied former President Donald Trump’s request to pause a recent ruling that ordered him to pay over $454 million in fines and interest to the state. That initial judgment was made in a civil fraud case brought against Trump and his business by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

The Case in Question:

James accused the Trump Organization of intentionally inflating the worth of its assets to lenders in order to gain more favorable terms. It should be noted that it was not these lenders, Deutsche Bank among them, that brought the suit against Trump; but the State of New York. State law allows for such a case to be brought against a business and its executives even if the relevant financial institutions do not allege fraud. 

Ruling in the Case:

It should also be noted that the judge overseeing the case, Arthur Engoron, determined that the Trump Organization, as well as President Trump and his two sons, Eric and Donald Jr., were guilty of engaging in said fraud before the trial even started. Therefore, the trial was more about determining the appropriate fine to be levied against President Trump than anything else.  

As part of the judgment issued against him, Justice Engoron ordered Trump to pay a hefty fine of $354 million dollars, along with interest of around $100,000 per day that began in 2019. He also appointed former federal judge Barbara Jones to monitor the business for at least three years. Jones can also install an independent director to oversee the company. 

Additionally, Trump is barred from serving as an executive officer in the Trump Organization or any other New York-based company for three years. His sons are likewise barred from doing the same for two years. Lastly, Trump and his company cannot receive loans from any financial institutions chartered or registered with the state’s Department of Financial Services. 

Trump’s Appeal:

Trump has already filed an appeal to the First Department of New York’s Appellate Division. He has asked that court for a stay, or pause, on Engoron’s ruling, meaning that James’ office would be temporarily blocked from collecting her judgment in jurisdictions where Trump owns assets. It would also pause the other portions of the judgment, such as the bans on the Trumps serving as executives for New York businesses and receiving loans from state recognized institutions.   

Trump offered to pay a bond of $100 million towards the recent judgment in exchange for the appellate court staying enforcement of the ruling. The office of Attorney General James asked the court to deny Trump’s offer.  

Trump’s legal team has argued that he does not currently have enough liquid assets to make the full payment; saying that most of his assets are tied-up in properties. Additionally, a reversal of the Engoron’s judgment by the appellate court would mean the permanent loss of those properties in the event that they are sold to pay the judgment. 

“In the absence of a stay…, properties would likely need to be sold to raise capital under [demanding] circumstances, and there would be no way to recover any property sold following a successful appeal and no means to recover the resulting financial losses”, the legal team said in a court filing.

This afternoon, the appellate court denied Trump’s bond proposition, declaring that enforcement of the monetary judgment against him can continue as initially ordered. Additionally, the court is also allowing the continuation of independent monitoring of the Trump Organization. However, the court did pause other parts of Engoron’s ruling, allowing him and his sons to continue their business and loan-seeking activities. It’s important to note that today’s order is only temporary while the appeal is still in process.

Conclusion:

The appellate court’s ruling shows that it is willing to entertain the arguments of Trump’s legal team and at the very least give him a fair trial. On the other hand, it is not willing to fully reverse Justice Engoron’s decision for the time being and it is not buying the argument that he should not have to pay the fine levied against him.

A three judge panel is set to review the appellate court’s partial stay in the near future.

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