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Trump’s Monumental Battle to Settle His $454 Million Fraud Fine

Trump’s Epic Struggle to Pay His $454 Million Fraud Penalty

“Thanks for calling Brunswick Companies,” said the automated voice. “For bonds of $500,000 or more, press one.” So, I pressed one and talked to Mark Levinson, the senior vice president. He was nice even though I wasn’t looking for cheap deals. Levinson wasn’t surprised when I brought up former President Donald Trump’s struggle to get a bond for his $454 million fraud penalty. USA Today had already asked Levinson about it when a judge in New York made a ruling.

Trump had complained on Truth Social that no bonding company had dealt with such a big bond before. The Wall Street Journal had said it was like using a huge missile for a small problem.

Levinson, who’s been in this business for 35 years, said it was a massive bond, especially for a private company like Trump’s. Public companies usually have more money. Levinson had arranged similar bonds for big companies, but never for a private one like Trump’s. Even for big public companies, having that much money available is a big deal.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump (Credits: Getty Images)

But Trump’s case is different. His business practices are more like organized crime than regular real estate.

Private companies like Trump’s have less public info, so it’s harder to check if they’re honest about their finances. Claudia Markarian, an underwriter, said they have to trust the honesty of the company’s officers more in such cases. This was a problem because Trump’s CFO, Allen Weisselberg, lied about property values.

Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, admitted to making financial lies for Trump. Cohen explained how they would inflate property values to please Trump.

The judge said Trump showed no remorse for his actions, which is why the penalty was so high. This wasn’t Trump’s first time in court for fraud.

I asked Levinson why Trump couldn’t use his real estate as collateral for the bond. Levinson explained that real estate is hard to turn into cash quickly, especially in New York’s tough market.

Trump had trouble finding a company willing to bond him, and even the one that did initially refused to go through with it. It seems like Trump’s financial troubles might lead to bankruptcy.

Trump might have to sell some of his properties to pay off his debts. However, he might not get much money for them, and selling them might bring legal trouble.

It’s a complicated situation, and it’s unlikely that the Supreme Court will intervene. Even the justices might be tired of dealing with Trump’s problems.

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