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US officials take first steps to seize Donald Trump properties

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Judgements were filed by the attorney general Letitia James earlier this month, the first indication that the state is preparing to try to seize the Trump National Golf Course and the former president’s estate north of Manhattan, known as Seven Springs.

Entering a judgment would be the first step a creditor would take to attempt to recover property. Additional steps, such as putting liens on assets or moving to foreclose on properties, or taking other actions in court would follow, if the asset is going to be seized.

The judgment is already entered in New York City where Trump’s properties including Trump Tower, his penthouse at Trump Tower, 40 Wall Street, his hotel abutting Central Park, and numerous apartment buildings are located.

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Trump and his two eldest sons were all barred from doing business in New York for two to three years in a fraud ruling which also saw the Republican presidential candidate ordered to pay a staggering $464 million (£363m).

However, Trump’s lawyers have said it is a “practical impossibility” for him to secure a bond for the cash and he has indicated he plans to appeal the ruling. However, in order to do so he must deposit the full amount with the court.

If Trump still has not found the money by March 25, James could begin seizing some of his assets including the two Scottish golf courses he owns – Trump International Golf Links Scotland Aberdeen and Trump International Golf Links Scotland Turnberry.

According to a document reported by Newsweek, the properties that could be seized alongside the Scottish courses include Trump’s famous Mar-a-Lago Florida estate and Trump Tower in New York.

The properties that could be taken off him include those which had “fraudulent” and “misleading” values assigned to them.

In Aberdeen, a US judge found it had been wrongly stated that 2500 homes had already been built at the Trump property as part of a project associated with the loss-making golf club.

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However, there was planning permission to build only 500 and no development had taken place.

Judgments have not been entered in Florida counties including Miami or Palm Beach where Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property and the Trump National Doral Golf Club and resort are located or Cook County, Illinois, where Trump’s hotel in Chicago is located, according to a review of records by CNN.

Trump now has four days to satisfy the judgement or sway an appeals court to allow him to post a smaller amount or defer posting the payment until after the appeal.

Nikos Passas, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at Northeastern University, has said Trump has structured his business in a “complex” way and seizing assets will be challenging.

He said: “They are complexly organized and he is not on paper the owner and therefore a judgment against him would not be executable directly against certain properties. Sorting this out is not going to be simple and it’s not going to be quick.”

The other Trump properties which could be seized are:

  • Trump Park Avenue, New York
  • 40 Wall Street, New York
  • Seven Springs, Westchester County, New York
  • Trump International Hotel and Tower, Las Vegas
  • Trump National Golf Club Westchester, Briarcliff Manor, New York
  • Trump National Golf Club Charlotte, Mooresville, North Carolina
  • Trump National Golf Club Colts Neck, Colts Neck, New Jersey
  • Trump National Golf Club, Washington DC
  • Trump National Golf Club Hudson Valley, Hopewell Junction, New York
  • Trump National Golf Club Jupiter, Jupiter, Florida
  • Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles, Rancho Palos Verdes, California
  • Trump National Golf Club Philadelphia, Pine Hill, New Jersey

 

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