Donald Trump posts $175m bond in civil fraud case

Donald Trump has posted a $175m bond in his New York civil fraud case, averting asset seizures by state authorities that could have hobbled his business empire.

The former US president was found liable on 16 February for fraudulently inflating his net worth by billions of dollars to secure better loan and insurance terms.

He originally needed to post a bond for $454m, but an appeals court on 25 March stayed enforcement of Justice Arthur Engoron’s judgment on condition that Trump pay the smaller sum within 10 days.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court will hear Trump’s appeal on the merits.

The bond prevents New York Attorney General Letitia James from going after Trump’s properties, including Trump Tower, his 370-acre resort and golf course in Westchester and his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

Mr Trump has denied wrongdoing and said the case is a political witch hunt by James, a Democrat who sued him in 2022.

In a 92-page order, Justice Engoron described how Trump directed deputies to change the values of his properties to arrive at his desired net worth for a decade before his entry into politics.

Separately on Monday, a court ruled that Mr Trump must stop verbal attacks on family members of a New York judge and others in his upcoming trial on charges stemming from a hush money payment to a porn star.

“All citizens, called upon to participate in these proceedings, whether as a juror, a witness, or in some other capacity, must now concern themselves not only with their own personal safety, but with the safety and the potential for personal attacks upon their loved ones. That reality cannot be overstated,” Juan Merchan said in the expanded gag order.

New York prosecutors have argued that Trump was trying to scare potential witnesses and urged Merchan to make clear that his existing gag order, which bars Trump from publicly commenting about witnesses and court staff, also applies to family members.

They were responding to a 28 March social media post by Trump, who called Merchan’s daughter a “Rabid Trump Hater” in a social media post and called for the judge to be removed from the case.

Trump is set to go on trial starting 15 April in New York state court in Manhattan on criminal charges of covering up a $130,000 payment before the 2016 election to porn star Stormy Daniels to buy her silence about an alleged sexual encounter.

Trump has pleaded not guilty.

He has also been charged in two cases with trying to overturn his 2020 election loss to Biden and in another over his handling of classified documents upon leaving office.

Those have been mired in delays and may not go to trial before the November election.

Trump has pleaded not guilty in all of them.

With agencies

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