Judge denies Trump's request to delay enforcement of $355M fraud case penalties

Trump's lawyers had requested a 30-day delay in the enforcement of penalties.

February 22, 2024, 2:44 PM

The judge in former President Donald Trump's civil fraud case has rejected a request from the defense to delay the enforcement of the penalties in the case.

The defendants had asked Judge Arthur Engoron to delay the enforcement of the penalties by 30 days to allow for an "orderly post-judgment process."

"You have failed to explain, much less justify, any basis for a stay," Engoron wrote in an email posted Thursday to the court docket. "I am confident that the Appellate Division will protect your appellate rights.

Trump last week was ordered to pay a $354.8 million fine plus interest and was barred from leading any New York company for three years. His sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump were also fined $4 million apiece and barred for two years.

The defense's request for a delay in the penalties stemmed from a dispute about the case's judgment order, the court document that, at the end of a trial, starts the clock for the penalties in a case. Lawyers for New York Attorney General Letitia James submitted a draft judgment on Tuesday, prompting criticism from Trump's defense lawyer Clifford Robert.

"To deprive Defendants of the opportunity to submit a proposed counter-judgment would be contrary to fundamental fairness and due process," Robert wrote in a letter to the court Wednesday morning.

Later that morning, Engoron requested that Robert submit a written response articulating what would make the defense's judgment different from the proposed order. Robert replied Wednesday afternoon by arguing that the attorney general's judgment broke with standard practice and included at least two errors.

In this Oct. 4, 2023, file photo, former President Donald Trump attends the third day of his civil fraud trial in New York.
Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

"The Attorney General has not filed any motion on notice, nor moved to settle the proposed Judgment," Robert said in the filing. "Her unseemly rush to memorialize a 'judgment' violates all accepted practice in New York state court."

Citing the "magnitude" of the penalties in the case, Robert requested a stay of penalties by 30 days if Engoron opts to sign the attorney general's proposed judgment.

"Given that the court-appointed monitor continues to be in place, there is no prejudice to the Attorney General in briefly staying enforcement to allow for an orderly post-judgment process, particularly given the magnitude of Judgment," Robert wrote.

In a short letter to Engoron Thursday, state attorney Andrew Amer opposed the request, arguing that Robert failed to justify why an additional delay of 30 days would be necessary and writing that Engoron's decision in the case left "no room for further debate" about the judgment.

"Nor do Defendants provide any basis for staying enforcement of the judgment; indeed, they requested such relief in their post-trial brief, which the Court declined to grant," Amer wrote.

Amer also objected to a change proposed by Robert to move the address of six of Trump's businesses -- which are defendants in the case -- from New York to Florida.

"Finally, the Court should reject Defendants' attempt to change the business address of six entity Defendants to Florida as the record establishes those entities are located in Trump Tower at 725 5th Avenue in New York, the office building in which the executives who carry out the business activities of those entities work," Amer wrote.

Trump was fined $354.8 million plus approximately $100 million in pre-judgment interest last week after Engoron determined that he inflated his net worth to get more favorable loan terms.

The former president has denied all wrongdoing and has said he will appeal.

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