Trump wants a 78% discount on his bond while he appeals the massive $454 million judgment against him

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  • Donald Trump offered to post a $100 million bond as he appeals his fraud trial loss.

  • The judgment against him, the Trump Organization, and other executives stands at $454 million.

  • Bond companies typically don't like dealing with real estate as collateral, an expert told Business Insider.

Donald Trump is pleading poverty.

The former president's lawyers said in a court filing Wednesday that he's prepared to post a $100 million bond to stop the enforcement of the New York attorney general's massive court victory against him in a sprawling civil fraud trial, multiple media outlets reported.

That would be a 78% discount on the $454 million judgment Trump, his company, and others owe after his court loss.

Arthur Engoron, the New York judge who oversaw the trial against Trump, issued his judgment earlier in February. Engoron found Trump liable for fraudulently misrepresenting his assets for bank loans, insurance, and tax filings and said the Trump Organization should be disgorged of ill-gotten gains.

Trump is appealing the case. But appellants typically still need to pony up funds to prevent New York Attorney General Letitia James from collecting the judgment — which could mean her seizing some of his jewel properties, including possibly Trump Tower or 40 Wall Street in Manhattan. The judgment amount has continued to grow with $112,000 in interest every day.

After an emergency hearing on Wednesday, a judge for the appellate court paused most of Engoron's order. The judge, Anil C. Singh, denied an interim pause on the "enforcement of the monetary judgment," but agreed to pause other parts of Engoron's order, such as the restrictions on Trump's ability to do business in New York.

To stop the enforcement of the judgment, Trump could put up the money in cash, or he could obtain a bond through a licensed bond company and offer some of his assets as collateral. Trump could also appeal again to New York's highest court, the Court of Appeals.

The offer of only $100 million indicates he doesn't have the cash and has been unable to strike a deal with a bond company, according to The New York Times.

A recent Bloomberg analysis found that Trump had about $600 million in combined liquid assets, which includes cash and stocks. He also owes $83.3 million that he must put up while he appeals a jury verdict against him in a defamation case from E. Jean Carroll. Trump's social media company, Truth Social, has a SPAC merger on the horizon that could give him an infusion of funds, according to The New York Times.

But much of Trump's assets are in real estate. Mark Zauderer, a New York litigator who has secured appeal bonds for past business clients, told Business Insider that bond companies are hesitant to use properties as securities. Ownership stakes could be opaque, and it's cumbersome to get a mortgage and go through the foreclosure process.

"Suppose Trump says, 'Well, I'll give you 40 Wall Street.' Who knows whether he really owns 40 Wall Street?" Zauderer, of the firm Dorf Nelson & Zauderer, told Business Insider. "He may be a partner in a partnership that owns it, or a shareholder."

In its filing Wednesday, lawyers for the New York attorney general's office asked the appellate court to force Trump to obtain a full bond, and expressed concern that he would "attempt to evade enforcement of the judgment."

"There is no merit to defendants' contention that a full bond or deposit is unnecessary because they are willing to post a partial undertaking of less than a quarter of the judgment amount," they wrote. "Defendants all but concede that Mr. Trump has insufficient liquid assets to satisfy the judgment."

This story has been updated with the decision from the appeals court.

Read the original article on Business Insider