NY AG: Trump Better Pay Up, or We'll Seize His Properties

Letitia James specifically names the Trump Building on Wall Street
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2024 7:33 AM CST
NY AG: If Trump Can't Pay, We'll Seize Properties
New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a press briefing, Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, in New York.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

New York Attorney General Letitia James isn't worried that former President Trump might not be able to cover the $355 million judgment delivered in his civil business fraud trial. "If he does not have funds to pay off the judgment, then we will seek judgment enforcement mechanisms in court, and we will ask the judge to seize his assets," James tells ABC News in an interview. "We are prepared to make sure that the judgment is paid to New Yorkers, and yes, I look at 40 Wall Street each and every day." That's a reference to the Trump Building skyscraper in New York's financial district. The commercial property was valued at $220 million in a bank-ordered appraisal in 2012, though the Trump Organization went on to claim the value at more than three times as much, according to court documents.

The former president was fined $354.8 million plus $100 million in pre-judgment interest for inflating his net worth to secure low-interest loans. It's "the largest financial penalty levied against Trump and his companies amid his various legal cases," the Hill reports, noting Trump may need to sell some properties to cover the bill. Trump is planning to appeal the verdict, though James isn't worried about that, either. She tells ABC she's "very confident" the case will hold up. "It wasn't just a simple mistake, a slight oversight. The variations are wildly exaggerated, and the extent of the fraud was staggering," she says. "If average New Yorkers went into a bank and submitted false documents, the government would throw the book at them, and the same should be true for former presidents." (More Donald Trump stories.)

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