Jose Paglieri of the Daily Beast has a trenchant analysis of the likely outcome of the Trump Organization’s New York fraud case, and it’s all bad news for Donald Trump. Besides the hundred millions of dollars in fines, two obscure state laws look set to balloon the fines into the fiscal stratosphere.
The first is a requirement that he immediately put up the amount of the fine before he can appeal the decision, and the second is a sky-high 9% state interest rate that could add another $200 million to the minimum $370 million fine the attorney general has requested.
As Paglieri lays it out:
Whatever the enormous judgment will be, the state-mandated 9 percent interest rate on the sum is likely to date back to the start of AG Letitia James’ investigation in 2018, which means Trump could be in the hole for nine-figures more. If the judgment against Trump is, for instance, $370 million, he would face an additional $33.3 million tacked on annually to the base amount of the original judgment. It’s simple interest, which means it only applies to the original judgment, but if the time period stretches back six years, Trump would automatically owe 54 percent more than whatever the judgment comes out to be. (In this hypothetical of $370 million with six years of interest, it’d be almost exactly $200 million more.)
Then there’s the matter of Trump’s inevitable appeal. The $315 filing fee will be the least of his worries. According to New York state court rules, Trump will have only a month to front a massive appellate bond worth anywhere from 110 percent to 120 percent of the judgment. Experts who spoke to The Daily Beast said Trump has two options: pay it directly to the court system, or find a surety company that would provide the state a guarantee on his behalf.
But if the Trump Organization is dissolved, as AG Letitia James wants, Paglieri notes, “Trump might not be able to rely on tainted goods to pay off the punishment for having tainted goods.”