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Donald Trump delivers a keynote speech at the Black Conservative Federation gala dinner, ahead of the South Carolina Republican presidential primary in Columbia, on Feb. 23.ALYSSA POINTER/Reuters

Donald Trump on Monday appealed a judge’s ruling that the former U.S. president must pay US$454-million in penalties and interest for fraudulently exaggerating his net worth and the values of his real estate holdings to secure better loan terms.

Mr. Trump asked an intermediate-level state appellate court to overturn Justice Arthur Engoron’s Feb. 16 ruling in a civil fraud lawsuit brought in 2022 by New York Attorney-General Letitia James. The ruling included a US$354.9-million penalty and limits on his ability to do business in New York state.

The penalties, along with sizable jury awards in two other civil cases, could become a drain on Mr. Trump’s cash reserves and hobble parts of his real estate empire as he pursues the Republican nomination to challenge President Joe Biden in the Nov. 5 U.S. election.

Ms. James, a Democrat, accused Mr. Trump in the lawsuit of overstating his net worth by as much as US$3.6-billion in financial statements provided to banks. Mr. Trump has accused Ms. James and Justice Engoron of political bias against him.

In addition to imposing the monetary penalties, Justice Engoron’s decision barred Mr. Trump from running a corporation in New York or seeking loans with banks chartered or registered in the state for three years. The judge also enhanced the powers of a court-appointed financial watchdog at the Trump Organization, the umbrella entity for the former president’s business ventures.

The appeals court – formally called the Appellate Division, First Department – potentially could put the judge’s ruling on hold during an appeals process that could last a year or longer.

Mr. Trump denied wrongdoing. He is worth US$2.6-billion, according to a Forbes estimate, but accounts of his worth vary greatly and it remained unclear how much cash he has on hand. Mr. Trump said in a deposition in April, 2023, that he had roughly US$400-million in liquid assets.

Justice Engoron’s ruling followed a contentious three-month trial in Manhattan that began in October. It featured testimony by Mr. Trump, who conceded that his property valuations were not always accurate but said his lenders were on notice to independently verify them.

The judge also fined Mr. Trump’s sons Don Jr. and Eric US$4-million each and barred them from running a New York corporation for two years. Both men have denied wrongdoing and joined in Mr. Trump’s appeal on Monday.

The payouts from Justice Engoron’s judgment total US$464.4-million for all defendants. More than US$114,000 of interest will continue accruing daily, mostly for Donald Trump alone. The judgment was made public on Friday.

The case is part of a maelstrom of legal troubles Mr. Trump faces – including criminal charges in four separate cases – though none have diminished his commanding lead in the race for the Republican nomination. Mr. Trump has used the cases to rally his base and raise money, telling supporters that he is being targeted for political reasons.

In one of the other civil cases, a jury in January found that Mr. Trump must pay writer E. Jean Carroll US$83.3-million for defaming her by denying her claim that he raped her decades earlier. Mr. Trump has vowed to appeal. Another jury last year ordered Mr. Trump to pay Ms. Carroll US$5-million in a separate case.

Mr. Trump is separately trying to delay enforcement of the US$83.3-million verdict and wants to appeal without posting any security.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who oversees that case, gave Ms. Carroll until Thursday to respond.

In one of the criminal cases, a New York judge has set a March 25 trial date for Mr. Trump on charges involving falsifying business records to conceal hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election that gave him the presidency.

Mr. Trump is also under indictment in Washington and Georgia over his efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss and in Florida over his handling of classified documents upon leaving office. He has pleaded not guilty in all four cases.

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