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Trump’s Legal Loses Now Add Up to Approximately $538 Million Following Newest Court Order

Published: February 19, 2024
Former U.S. President Donald Trump sits with his attorneys Joe Tacopina and Boris Epshteyn inside a courtroom during his arraignment at the Manhattan Criminal Court on April 4, 2023 in New York City. (Image: Andrew Kelly-Pool/Getty Images)

On Feb. 16, New York Judge Arthur Engoron ordered former U.S. President Donald Trump to pay a staggering $355 million in penalties after ruling that he inflated his wealth on financial statements in order to secure favorable terms for business loans that fueled his business empire. 

The controversial ruling, which Trump has indicated he will appeal, is but the latest legal setback for the former president, and brings his total legal liabilities to a massive $538 million.

Over the past four weeks, Trump has been fined roughly $438 million when combining the most recent order with a judgment issued against Trump for defaming E. Jean Carroll. In that case the judge ordered Trump to pay roughly $83 million.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, who brought the fraud case against Trump, said that interest payments on the fraud judgment so far total $99 million and that this amount will “continue to increase every single day until it is paid.”

In addition, Trump is currently appealing another $938,000 judgment against him for launching what a judge described as a “frivolous” lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and was also ordered to pay nearly $400,000 in legal fees to the New York Times after unsuccessfully suing the media giant. 

Trump is also on the hook for another $110,000 for refusing to comply with a subpoena in his civil fraud case and another $15,000 for repeatedly disparaging the judge’s law clerk in violation of a gag order.

In total, this brings Trump’s legal liabilities to an estimated $538 million.

Friday’s judgment also barred Trump “from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation or other legal entity in New York for a period of three years,” among other consequences which included fining his sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, $4 million each and banning them from running businesses in the state for a period of time as well. 

Can Trump pay?

While Trump’s net worth remains murky, it is suspected that he will have more than enough to pay the penalties. However, he will most likely have to sell some of his assets to raise the cash.

Estimates of Trump’s net worth range from $2 billion to upwards of $10 billion.

In his 2021 statement of financial condition, Trump said he had just under $300 million in ‘cash and cash equivalents’ and has since liquidated a number of his assets including a golf course in New York and a hotel in Washington D.C..

He is also expected to raise a significant amount of cash once his social media platform, Truth Social, goes public.

Trump may have to cough up the full amount against him, plus interest, during his appeal, which is standard practice in similar cases, and could post a smaller amount with collateral and interest by securing an appeal bond, however he would have to find a bank, or banks, willing to secure the amount.

Some legal experts are speculating that Trump may have to liquidate a number of his properties in Manhattan, Westchester County ,and the Hudson Valley — including Trump Tower — to raise the funds needed to cover the penalties. 

As far as timing is concerned, Trump may be required to pay the full amount by this summer, according to University of Michigan law professor Will Thomas.

Thomas told the CBC, “New York’s judicial system has shown a willingness to move quickly on some of these Trump issues. When we hear from the first appellate court, that’s a point where money is almost certainly going to change hands.” 

Should Trump fail to pay the court could seize his assets, garnish his wages, or even imprison him. Imprisonment however would be extremely unlikely.


‘I would never invest in New York’

The latest ruling against Trump has many prominent figures in the business community reeling, with some saying they will never invest in New York. 

Kevin O’Leary, chairman of O’Leary Ventures and co-host of the hit series Shark Tank, told Fox Business, “I’m shocked at the New York Trump ruling… New York was already a loser state just like California is a loser state… I would never invest in New York now… and I’m not the only one.”

On Sunday (Feb. 18) following the ruling, New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul said on WABC 770 radio that regular New York businesses need not worry since they were “very different” from the former president.

“I understand [that the Trump ruling might make New York business people fearful], but this is really an extraordinarily unusual circumstance that the law-abiding, rule-following New Yorkers who are businesspeople have nothing to worry about because they’re very different from Donald Trump and his behavior,” Hochul said in what sounded like an attempt to calm frayed nerves. 

Trump continues to deny any wrongdoing and maintains the stance that there were no victims, banks he dealt with agreed with his valuations, and that he flawlessly fulfilled all loan terms, profiting both his business and the banks he worked with. 

In an opinion piece published by the New York Post’s Editorial Board, the Board wrote, “This was a politically motivated trial from the start, one that had the progressive James ‘protecting’ big banks she would otherwise demean….Congratulations, you’ve won a trial without victims and proved that Donald Trump likes to exaggerate.” 

“Democrats have again shot themselves in the foot, proving to an increasing number of voters that the justice system is stacked against the ex-president,” the Board added.