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Trump tried to move assets to Florida, NY officials complain in fraud-judgment filing

Donald Trump waving in front of US flags.
GOP presidential candidate and former president Donald Trump, campaigning in Georgia.Reuters/Alyssa Pointer
  • `Donald Trump has promised not to sneak assets out of New York as he appeals his civil-fraud judgment.

  • But officials say he recently tried to change the addresses of major assets from New York to Florida.

  • They say the attempt proves Trump can't be trusted to give a mere IOU for the money he owes.

Donald Trump tried — but failed — to switch the addresses of key assets from Trump Tower in New York to Florida, officials with the New York attorney general's office say in their latest civil-fraud-case filing.

State officials complained in the new filing that days after losing the 11-week fraud trial, Trump's lawyers "announced for the first time that various entity defendants operating in New York are allegedly now located on a golf club in Florida."

Addresses of Trump entities in Florida.
Trump attempted to switch the Trump Tower addresses of several key assets to new addresses in Florida, state officials allege. Business Insider

Lawyers for state Attorney General Letitia James say the attempted "relocation" effort proves Trump cannot be believed when he promises his assets will never be "secreted" out of New York.

"Defendants attempted that relocation even as they claim to this Court that those assets 'cannot be summarily disposed of or secreted out of the jurisdiction,'" the attorney general's lawyers wrote, quoting Trump's own past assurances in their new filing, which totals 132 pages.

The filing asks a Manhattan appellate court to order Trump to post an appeal bond for the entirety of what he owes New York in fraud penalties.

Under last month's verdict, Trump now owes the state more than $456 million in fraud penalties, a number that rises by $1 million in additional interest every nine days.

Trump has asked the appellate court to let him post a bond covering only a fraction of that massive sum; he promises to pay the full amount later if he loses on appeal.

State officials have now countered that unless he's forced to set the money aside now in the form of a "full bond," there's a "significant risk" Trump will try to evade paying down the road.

"Absent a full bond or deposit, OAG would be highly prejudiced and likely forced to expend substantial public resources to execute the judgment if it is affirmed on appeal," James' lawyers wrote, using the acronym for the office of the attorney general.

An excerpt from a new filing by the New York Attorney General's office with the following line highlighted: "various entity defendants operating in New York are allegedly now located on a golf club in Florida."
An excerpt from a new filing by the New York attorney general's office.Business Insider

The appellate court may not rule on Trump's request for permission to post a lower bond for several weeks. Given the court's March 18 deadline for written arguments, a decision may come during Trump's felony hush-money trial, set to begin in Manhattan on March 25 and span some six weeks.

And there could be wider ramifications if state officials continue to find ongoing financial misconduct.

The judge in Trump's New York civil trial and lawyers for the attorney general's office said repeatedly that Trump seemingly could not stop committing fraud, even during a four-year state investigation and a resulting lawsuit and trial that disclosed a decade of fraudulent financial filings.

If court-imposed monitoring continues to uncover ongoing misconduct, Trump risks additional penalties, including "the restructuring and potential dissolution" of his properties, as state Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron warned in his February 16 verdict.

'Corrected' addresses

It was on February 21, five days after the verdict, that Trump's lawyers disclosed what they called the "corrected" addresses for six Trump assets that were named as defendants in James' lawsuit.

"Several of the addresses for the Defendants in the proposed Judgment are incorrect," the defense lawyer Clifford S. Robert wrote in the letter to Engoron.

One such defendant is the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust — an umbrella trust that owns 100% of Trump's business empire, also known as the Trump Organization.

The last known business address for this New York-registered trust is Trump Tower in Manhattan, James says. But the defense lawyer's February 21 letter to Engoron claimed the trust's actual address was 1100 South Ocean Boulevard in West Palm Beach — meaning Mar-a-Lago.

Trump's lawyers also tried to "correct" the addresses for a pair of Trump Organization holding companies that were also defendants in the case.

Like the trust, the holding companies use Trump Tower as their business address, James says — despite the February letter claiming that their "proper" address was the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida.

Similarly, the February letter gave a Jupiter golf club business address for the Trump Old Post Office LLC, and said the business address for Trump's Miami golf course was the address for the golf course itself. The AG has said Trump Tower is the actual business address for both properties.

Finally, Trump's lawyers claimed the "proper address" for Trump Tower in Chicago — another defendant in the fraud case — was Trump's Jupiter golf course rather than Trump Tower in New York.

In his final judgment, dated February 22, the judge uses the Manhattan Trump Tower address for all six of these defendants — not the Florida addresses Trump claimed.

Trump has said in appellate filings that he would have to sell property at a loss in order to post a bond approaching half a billion dollars. He recently posted a $92 million appeal bond to cover the defamation award he owes the writer E. Jean Carroll.

Correction: March 13, 2024 — An earlier version of this story misstated the date of Trump's fraud verdict, and the address he claimed for his Miami golf course. The verdict was reached on February 16, not 15. The business address Trump claimed for his Miami golf course was in Miami, not Jupiter, Florida.

Read the original article on Business Insider