Judge orders Trump company to tell watchdog about appeal bonds

Former U.S. President Donald Trump attends the Trump Organization civil fraud trial, in New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, October 25, 2023.

Jeenah Moon | Reuters

A judge ordered Donald Trump‘s company Thursday to inform a court-appointed financial watchdog about any efforts to obtain an appeal bond.

Judge Arthur Engoron’s order came three days after Trump’s lawyers in an appeals court filing said it has been “impossible” so far for the former president to get such a bond for a civil business fraud case he lost.

Trump sought the bond to prevent New York Attorney General Letitia James as early as Monday collecting on a $454 million civil fraud judgment against him as he appeals the verdict in Manhattan Supreme Court.

His lawyers have said that more than 30 surety companies rejected writing a bond for Trump because they would not accept real estate as collateral.

Trump has asked the appeals court to pause the judgment from taking effect without having to secure a bond. That court has yet to rule on his request.

In his order Thursday, Engoron told the Trump Organization it must tell its financial overseer, Barbara Jones, “in advance, of any efforts to secure surety bonds.”

Justice Arthur Engoron sits with his clerk as he presides over the civil fraud trial of former President Donald Trump and his children at New York State Supreme Court on November 13, 2023 in New York City.

Curtis Means | Getty Images

The company also must tell Jones about any claims the Trump Organization makes to obtain the bonds, any personal guarantees by Trump or other defendants, and any condition imposed on the company.

That level of disclosure would well exceed what Trump has disclosed about a $91.6 million appeal bond he recently received from a Chubb insurance subsidiary to secure a civil defamation judgment in favor of the writer E. Jean Carroll.

Jones, who is a retired federal judge, was appointed by Engoron as the financial monitor for the Trump Organization. The company has chafed under her oversight, complaining about her in filings with Engoron.

Engoron last month ruled that Jones would remain as the monitor for three years after finding that Trump, his two adult sons, his company and two executives were civilly liable for years of fraudulently inflating Trump’s asset values for financial gain.

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