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New York Attorney General Letitia James opposes company holding Trump's $175 million bond in civil fraud case

Trump faces setbacks in several legal battles
Trump facing setbacks in several legal battles 03:51

New York Attorney General Letitia James on Friday filed a memorandum of opposition to the surety company that holds the $175 million bond for former President Donald Trump as he appeals the $460 million decision against him in the civil fraud trial earlier this year. 

The attorney general's office says it is concerned about the financials of the bondholder, Knight Specialty Insurance company, and the collateral for the bond.

The $175 million in cash that Trump claims to have provided as collateral in a bank account is in the DJT Revocable Trust and not under Knight's control, as it should be, the attorney general's office argued. Because Trump still has access to the funds, he's still able to make withdrawals, or replace the funds with other assets that could fluctuate with the markets. And if the value drops below $175 million, the bond is no longer secured, according to the attorney general.

The state is concerned that if Trump continues to control the account, he could make money on the bond deal, earning interest that exceeds the fees he owes to Knight for posting the bond. 

Should Trump lose on appeal, and if he doesn't pay, Knight would be obligated to pay the $175 million bond. The attorney general's memorandum argued that Knight falls short on several requirements for a surety bondholder.

As CBS News has reported, Knight doesn't appear to meet a restriction under New York insurance law barring companies from putting more than 10% of its capital at risk, and the attorney general's office noted that Knight has a surplus of only $138 million. Under New York law, given that amount of surplus, it may not take on liability of more than $13.8 million. The attorney general also said that Knight relies on risk transfer practices that work to "artificially" bolster its surplus. James also argues that Knight's management is untrustworthy, violating federal law "on multiple occasions over the last several years.

Representatives for Trump did not immediately return requests for comment.

The state asked the court to require Trump to come up with a replacement within seven days of its ruling on the matter. A hearing on this issue is scheduled for Monday.

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