Trump says he’s asked 30 companies to back his $454 million appeal bond and all have said no

United States

Even for a billionaire, Donald Trump’s $ 454 million appeals bond is proving too expensive to finance.

In a legal filing before the New York Court of Appeals on Monday, the former president said he has approached nearly 30 surety companies to help back the bond he needs in order to pursue an appeal, and that all have said no.

Coming up with “the judgment’s full amount is a practical impossibility,” Trump’s lawyers wrote in the filing.

Trump, 77, was hit with a penalty of $ 355 million in February after a New York judge ruled that he and his company were guilty of corporate fraud for routinely overstating or understating the value of his assets in order to get better rates from banks and insurers.

With interest added, the figure is now $ 454 million. In order to appeal the judgment, Trump must come up with a bond of that amount so the state can be guaranteed to collect the money in the event his appeal fails.

The bond is due by March 25, or New York Attorney General Letitia James, who brought the case against Trump, could begin seizing his assets.

Trump’s lawyers say the appeals court can issue a stay of the bond requirements and has asked that it do so. James argues that the appeals court doesn’t have that authority,

Late last month, Trump asked that he be allowed to post a lower amount of $ 100 million. In response, the court ordered that both sides present fuller legal arguments. 

An appeal bond typically requires a defendant to put up collateral in the value of the bond amount. The defendant often will pay a fee of between 1% and 3% annually.

Trump’s lawyers have also argued that the value of Trump’s real-estate assets should be enough to guarantee he is good for the money in the event he were to lose his appeal.

Last week, Trump was able to post a $ 91.6 million bond in a separate defamation case that was brought by writer E. Jean Carroll, who had accused him of raping her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s. Trump denied the assault, saying Carroll was “not my type.”

After losing that case, Trump had similarly asked the court waive his need to post the appeal bond, pointing to his real-estate assets. Carroll’s lawyers argued that amounted to Trump simply saying, “Trust me.” The court rejected Trump’s request, and he posted a bond backed by the Federal Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Chubb CB, +0.60%.

Trump, who is on track to again be the Republican candidate for president,  also faces four criminal cases: two for allegedly attempting to illegally overturn the results of the 2020 election, one for allegedly withholding classified documents after he left office and refusing to return them, and another for allegedly engaging in a cover-up of hush-money payments to an adult-film star and others who were shopping stories alleging he had had affairs with them.