Saturday, July 20, 2024

Trump appealed the fraud case, charging $112,000 a day in interest

  • By Chloe Kim
  • BBC News, New York

image source, Good pictures

Donald Trump has appealed a New York judge's ruling that he must pay $454m (£360m) in fines and interest in a civil fraud case.

This month's judgment is $355m, but the amount has risen with interest, adding up to at least $112,000 a day.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said she will try to seize some of Trump's assets if he doesn't pay.

He was found to have inflated property values ​​to get better loan terms.

Judge Arthur Engron banned the former US president from doing business in the state for three years.

Monday's appeal from the Republican presidential front-runner means another legal case against him will drag further into the election season as he prepares to run again against Democratic President Joe Biden in November.

Mr Trump has said he plans to appeal the ruling, calling it a political witch hunt.

His attorney, Alina Hubba, said Monday that we hope the appeals court will “overturn this outrageous sentence and take the necessary steps to restore public confidence in New York's legal system.”

In their court filing, the lawyers said they asked the Appellate Division to decide whether Judge Nkoron's court “made errors of law and/or fact” and whether it “abused its discretion” or “acted in excess of its jurisdiction.”

Mr Trump's legal team has previously challenged Judge Engron's rulings at least 10 times, including a gag order.

The appeals process can take a year or more.

Collection of the judgment could be suspended if Mr Trump offers an appeal bond covering money, assets or other amounts owed. It is not known which way he will go.

Mr Trump's two-year-old sons and co-defendants Donald Jr and Eric were each ordered to pay $4 million and banned from doing business in New York for two years. They maintained no wrongdoing and joined their father's appeal on Monday.

Adding to the drain on his cash reserves, the former president was last month ordered to pay $83 million after losing a defamation lawsuit to E. Jean Carroll, a woman he was found to have sexually abused.

In May 2023, he lost a lawsuit against The New York Times and was ordered to pay the legal costs of the reporters he sued. On Monday, Susanne Craig, one of the reporters involved in the case, tweeted that she had completed the $392,600 payment ordered by Mr Trump.

According to Forbes estimates, Mr Trump is worth around $2.6 billion. Although it's unclear how much cash he has on hand, he testified last year that he had $400 million in liquid assets.

The civil trial, which began in October, focused on determining penalties against Trump because Judge Engoron had already ruled the former president liable for business fraud.

On Monday, the Manhattan attorney bringing the case asked a judge for a gag order for Mr. Trump.

The district attorney's office said the move was necessary to protect judges, witnesses and court staff from Mr Trump's “long history of making public and inflammatory comments”.

Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung called the request a “constitutional violation” of Mr Trump's rights.

He reiterated the former president's claims that the allegations against him were partisan attempts to prevent his re-election.

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