Trump’s £140m bond settled with cash promise

22 April 2024, 18:54

Trump Hush Money
Trump Hush Money. Picture: PA

Lawyers for the former president agreed to keep the 175-million-dollar bond in a cash account that would gain interest, but face no downside risk.

New York state lawyers and an attorney for former President Donald Trump settled their differences on Monday over a 175 million dollar (£140 million) bond that Mr Trump posted to block a large civil fraud judgment while he pursues appeals.

The agreement cut short a potential day-long court hearing in Manhattan that was to feature witnesses.

As part of a deal struck during a 20-minute recess, lawyers for Mr Trump and Knight Specialty Insurance Company agreed to keep the 175 million dollars in a cash account that will gain interest but faces no downside risk. The account so far has grown by more than 700,000 dollars (£566,000).

Trump Hush Money
The bond stops the state from potentially seizing Mr Trump’s assets (Brendan McDermid/AP)

The bond stops the state from potentially seizing Mr Trump’s assets to satisfy the more than 454 million dollars (£364 million) that he owes after losing a court case brought by the Democratic attorney general.

She had alleged that Mr Trump, along with his company and key executives, defrauded bankers and insurers by lying about his wealth.

The former president and presumptive Republican nominee denies the claims and is appealing the judgment.

Judge Arthur Engoron, who in February issued the huge judgment after concluding that Mr Trump and others had deceived banks and insurers by exaggerating his wealth on financial statements, presided over Monday’s hearing and at times was caught in a testy exchange with Mr Trump’s attorney Christopher Kise.

Mr Engoron challenged Mr Kise with examples of how the money Mr Trump had posted might not be available for collection if the judgment were upheld, leading Mr Kise to respond in one instance that the judge’s “hypothetical is … wildly speculative”.

Trump Hush Money
Donald Trump denies claims that he defrauded bankers and insurers by lying about his wealth (Mary Altaffer/AP)

At another point, Mr Kise expressed frustration with the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, saying: “It appears that no matter what we do they’re going to find fault with it.”

But Andrew Amer, an attorney for New York state, proposed settlement terms soon after he began speaking at the hearing.

He said the state wanted extra assurances because Mr Trump had raised the money with help from a relatively small out-of-state insurance company.

As part of the deal, Knight Specialty Insurance, a Wilmington, Delaware-based part of the Los Angeles-based Knight Insurance Group, will have exclusive control of the 175 million dollars and will submit to the jurisdiction of the New York state court while agreeing not to move the money into mutual funds or other financial instruments.

Trump Hush Money
Alina Habba, attorney for former president Donald Trump, claimed that the judge in his civil fraud case did not ‘even understand basic principles of finance’ (Yuki Iwamura/AP)

Speaking to reporters in the hallway outside Mr Trump’s separate criminal hush money trial, his attorney, Alina Habba, said Mr Engoron “doesn’t even understand basic principles of finance”.

“We came to an agreement that everything would be the same,” she said. ”We would modify terms and that would be it.”

Mr Trump also railed against Mr Engoron, accusing him of not understanding the case.

“He challenged the bonding company that maybe the bonding company was no good. Well, they’re good. And they also have 175 million dollars of collateral – my collateral,” he said.

By Press Association

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