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As the deadline for Trump’s $454 million fraud verdict approaches, son Eric complains: ‘They want to bankrupt him’

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media after voting at a polling station at the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center in Palm Beach, Florida, on March 19, 2024.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

Donald Trump faces grave danger that New York’s attorney general will begin pursuing a $454 million civil fraud judgment against him on Monday unless an appeals court grants the former president a last-minute reprieve.

Trump’s son Eric, a co-defendant in the fraud case, blamed the attorney general Letitia James on Sunday as he tried to use the verdict to bankrupt his father.

Donald Trump’s lawyers said he was unable to pay an appeal bond that would prevent the attorney general from collecting the judgment while he tries to overturn the fraud verdict – and James told an appeals court last week that his Rejecting the application to suspend the judgment should prevent it from taking effect.

“They’re trying to take away his money, they’re trying to bankrupt him, they’re trying to hurt him so badly,” Eric Trump said in an interview with Fox News.

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“And it’s going to backfire because he’s going to win this in November and everyone in this country knows exactly what these people are doing,” Eric said.

Eric also said, “No one has ever seen a bond of this size.”

“When I came to them, everyone said, ‘Hey, can I get a half-billion-dollar bond?’ … [T]Hey, we laughed. They laughed,” Eric said.

Eric’s complaint came days after news that James’ office had registered the massive fraud judgment with the county clerk’s office in Westchester County, New York. Registration will be required if James wants to seize Trump’s golf course and the Seven Springs estate in that county to partially comply with the ruling.

Donald Trump, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Eric, and his other adult son, Donald Trump Jr., were found liable along with two company executives for fraud at the Trump Organization after a trial in Manhattan Supreme Court. James’ office was the plaintiff in this case.

Last month, Judge Arthur Engoron found that the defendants fraudulently inflated the stated value of Trump’s assets to inflate his purported net worth and obtain more favorable loan terms on Trump Organization properties. Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump have run their father’s company since he was elected president in 2016.

The elder Trump is responsible for most of the $464 million in disgorgement and interest that Engoron ordered as damages in the case. However, the Trump sons were each ordered to pay $4 million.

Last week, Donald Trump asked a midlevel appeals court to stay the ruling. His lawyers said it had proven “impossible” for him to obtain an appeal bond.

Such a bond would guarantee that the state would receive the judgment if Trump loses his appeal in the case and is otherwise unable to comply.

Trump’s lawyers said that bond companies wanted him to pay more than $1 billion in cash or equivalents before they would consider accepting an appeal bond in the case.

The lawyers said in a court filing that the more than 30 companies he contacted about obtaining a bond refused to accept real estate as collateral.

If the appeals court doesn’t grant Trump a temporary stay of the ruling, he could ask the state’s highest court, the appeals court, to grant him a stay. However, it is not clear whether Trump would have much success at this level.

Monday is the first day James can begin seizing Trump’s property to comply with the ruling without a court order stopping her.

Losers in New York civil cases are routinely required to post an appeal bond or be held liable for the verdicts entered against them if they appeal a verdict.

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