Contact Us

Trump Must Pay $454M, Appeals Court Rules. Property Sales Are Likely Next

40 Wall St. is one of the properties The Trump Organization could be forced to sell in order to satisfy a $454M fraud penalty.

Former President Donald Trump might have no choice but to sell off pieces of his real estate empire to pay a $454M judgment against him, his attorneys wrote in court documents Wednesday.

The admission came in a request to stay that judgment filed to a New York appeals court. After an afternoon hearing, Associate Justice Anil Singh of the New York Appellate Division ruled that Trump must pay the penalty handed down this month or post a third-party bond for the full amount.

His attorneys wrote that Trump and his businesses are prepared to post a $100M bond, but they asked the court to prevent New York Attorney General Letitia James from collecting the full penalty until after the appeal. They wrote that the lack of a stay would cause "irreparable harm" to his businesses.

If Trump is unable to secure a bond or come up with the requisite cash, James could seize his properties to settle his liability.

Without a stay, Trump's attorneys, Alina Habba and Clifford Robert, wrote that the former president's "properties would likely need to be sold to raise capital under exigent circumstances, and there would be no way to recover any property sold following a successful appeal and no means to recover the resulting financial losses from the Attorney General."

New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron entered the judgment on Feb. 23 that Trump had to pay nearly $355M in penalties after ruling that Trump had committed fraud by inflating his net worth to secure favorable loan terms. That included a 9% interest rate, bringing the total to roughly $454M and climbing by more than $100K every day he doesn't pay.

In addition to the monetary penalty, Engoron ordered that The Trump Organization would need to continue operating under oversight by a court-appointed monitor, retired District Court Judge Barbara Jones, for three years and have all transactions approved by a newly appointed independent compliance officer. 

The ruling included a three-year ban on Donald Trump from acting as an officer or director of any company doing business in New York and two-year bans for his eldest sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, who were each fined over $4M.

Crucially, the judgment also included a ban on Trump's businesses securing a loan from any bank that does business in New York. Trump's attorneys singled out this piece of the penalty as something that would make it more difficult to pay the penalty. 

"Even certain properties with existing loans could not seek re-financing, creating a default scenario resulting in irreparable injury," the attorneys wrote.

Singh enforced an interim stay on that piece of Engoron's ruling, as well on the corporate bans of Eric and Donald Trump Jr. That decision could clear the way for a quicker disposition of The Trump Organization's properties — the two have run the business since their father moved into the White House in 2017.

Engoron's rulings in the case had been overturned on appeal before. In the fall of 2023, he revoked Trump's business license before the civil fraud trial had begun, a decision that the 1st Division of the New York Appellate Court struck down

In Wednesday's application for a stay, Trump's attorneys listed 40 Wall St., Trump Tower and Trump Park Avenue among his New York holdings. It's unclear how much selling those properties would raise or how quickly it could happen. The $122.6M loan tied to 40 Wall was placed in special servicing in November after its occupancy dropped from 95% to 77% last summer.

Trump had access to $350M in cash and liquid investments as of last year, according to The New York Times. 

UPDATE, FEB. 28, 11:30 P.M. ETThis story has been updated to reflect the appellate court's decision to reject a stay of the $454M penalty but grant an interim stay of other parts of the lower court's judgment.