Tuesday, April 23, 2024

New York Attorney General takes initial step to prepare to seize Trump assets

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The New York attorney general’s office has filed judgments in Westchester County, the first indication that the state is preparing to try to seize Donald Trump’s golf course and private estate north of Manhattan, known as Seven Springs.

State lawyers entered the judgments with the clerk’s office in Westchester County on March 6, just one week after Judge Arthur Engoron made official his $464 million decision against Trump, his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, and the Trump Organization.

Entering a judgment would be the first step a creditor would take to attempt to recover property. Additional steps, such as putting liens on assets or moving to foreclose on properties, or taking other actions in court would follow, if the asset is going to be seized.

The judgment is already entered in New York city where Trump’s properties including Trump Tower, his penthouse at Trump Tower, 40 Wall Street, his hotel abutting Central Park, and numerous apartment buildings are located.

Judgments have not been entered in Florida counties including Miami or Palm Beach where Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property and the Trump National Doral Golf Club and resort are located or Cook County, Illinois, where Trump’s hotel in Chicago is located, according to a review of records Thursday by CNN.

Trump now has four days to satisfy the judgment or sway an appeals court to allow him to post a smaller amount or defer posting the payment until after the appeal.

Separately, Trump’s lawyers pushed back Thursday on several of the suggestions the New York attorney general’s office made about how he can pay bond.

That includes the idea that Trump could get several underwriters to secure bonds totaling the judgment – saying it would still require Trump to post half a billion dollars in cash or stock – money he doesn’t have.

Trump’s legal team argued in the filing that the New York attorney general’s office shouldn’t be able to challenge their claims.

If no arrangement is met, New York Attorney General Letitia James has said she will take steps to seize assets.

The attorney general’s office on Wednesday said that it’s common for large companies to post billion-dollar bonds and suggested Trump should have posted real estate with the court.

“The suggestion is both impractical and unjust. The Attorney General cites no New York case law to support this contention. In any event, from the perspective of risk, the Attorney General’s proposal of a ‘court-appointed officer’ to ‘hold real estate’ is functionally equivalent to what Supreme Court has already imposed through the requirement of a court-appointed monitor to oversee Defendants’ business operations,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.

Trump’s lawyers also said to be forced to sell properties at a fire sale would cause irreparable injury because they could not later recover the property if they were to win an aspect of the appeal.

“By demanding an undertaking in the full amount of the judgment in order to appeal, the Attorney General and Supreme Court have sought to impose a patently unreasonable, unjust, and unconstitutional (under both the Federal and New York State Constitutions) bond condition,” they wrote.

Trump on Thursday continued posting on social media about the difficulties he is having securing a bond.

Trump said in a new Truth Social post that putting up the money is “VERY EXPENSIVE” and said it was “not possible for bonding companies to do in such a high amount.”

(BBC)

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