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Trump Wins as Letita James Loses

New York Judge Arthur Engoron confirmed on Monday that the $175 million bond posted by former President Trump to appeal a $364 million civil fraud judgment against him is legally sufficient. This approval is crucial as it prevents New York Attorney General Letitia James from seizing Trump’s assets or freezing his bank accounts during his appeal.

Earlier this month, James had raised concerns about the financial capability of Knight Specialty Insurance Company, the issuer of the bond, since the company is not registered with New York’s Department of Financial Services. In a recent court filing, James argued that both the defendants and the insurance company had not adequately demonstrated the bond’s security, leading her to request that Judge Engoron invalidate the bond and require Trump to post a new one within a week of the decision.

However, Judge Engoron decided to let the bond stand. Following the ruling, Trump and Knight Specialty Insurance Company agreed to several conditions. These include the stipulation that Knight Specialty Insurance will maintain “exclusive control” over the $175 million account and that both the company and Trump must provide monthly statements verifying the account has sufficient funds to cover the bond. Additionally, Knight Specialty Insurance agreed to appoint an agent for service of process in New York and confirmed that any amendments to their agreement would require court approval.

Originally, Trump was mandated to secure a $454 million bond after being found liable for financial fraud. However, upon appeal, this amount was reduced to $175 million, which Trump promptly posted at the beginning of this month. Billionaire Don Hankey, chairman of Knight Specialty Insurance Company and a previous donor to Trump’s campaigns, underwrote the bond.

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