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Trump Appeals Fraud Verdict As Interest Brings Penalty To $454M

Former President Donald Trump speaks at the 2023 Turning Point Action Conference in July 2023.

Attorneys for former President Donald Trump filed an appeal Monday to overturn  New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron's ruling in a civil fraud case in which Trump was ordered to pay hundreds of millions of dollars.

Engoron ruled earlier this month that Trump, his two eldest sons and two business associates committed “persistent and repeated” fraud regarding the valuations of real estate assets owned by The Trump Organization.

The Feb. 16 judgment throws into question the future of The Trump Organization, owner of various Manhattan skyscrapers, golf courses and other properties in New York. New York Attorney General Letitia James has said that if Trump is unable to pay penalties imposed by the ruling, her office will seek to seize some of his assets.

Engoron ordered Trump to pay $355M in penalties as a result of a civil suit brought by James. With interest, that total is now $454M, and it grows by nearly $112K per day, PBS reported.

The appeal will focus on whether Engoron committed errors in his ruling and whether he exceeded the scope of his authority in handing it down. The appeal paperwork didn't address whether Trump and the others are asking for a pause in the collection of the judgment, the AP reported.

To qualify for a stay in payment during the appeal, Trump would need to put up the amount of the judgment in cash, assets or a third-party bond. The deadline to do so is March 25. It is unclear how the former president plans to find the cash necessary for the appeal, CNN reported.

Trump also faces an $83.3M judgment in a federal defamation case brought by E. Jean Carroll. He has also said he will appeal that judgment, and one of his attorneys last week sought to delay the enforcement of the penalty on the grounds that it was excessive.

The Washington Post reported over the weekend that any route to paying the fines will be complicated for the Republican presidential front-runner. The amount of the judgments and Trump's position as a past and potential future occupant of the Oval Office will factor heavily for any company considering a bond issuance, the Post reported.

Engoron's ruling earlier this month also barred Trump from running a business in New York for three years. His sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr. were banned for two years. The younger Trumps were also fined more than $4M each.