HomeInsuranceThe Shady Company Backing Trump’s Bond Somehow Just Got Even Shadier

The Shady Company Backing Trump’s Bond Somehow Just Got Even Shadier

It’s conventional wisdom that the right wing is dominated, defined, even, by “grifters all the way down.” No big surprise, then, that the insurance company footing the bill for Donald Trump’s fraud case bond is itself unscrupulous.

An investigation by The Daily Beast revealed that Knight Specialty Insurance, the company backing Trump’s $175 million civil fraud penalty payment, is not licensed as a solvent surety firm by the New York Department of Financial Services, and has not been vetted by the state’s Excess Line Association, a board of insurers that provides voluntary audits of other insurer’s finances. The reason for that: The California-based Knight does not appear to have enough money in its coffers to post Trump’s bonds.

According to the Beast, Trump’s bond accounts for a third of the company’s assets and more than its total surplus funds. Maria T. Vullo, a former New York financial regulator, has called the move to post Trump’s bond “incomprehensible for a carrier to underwrite.”

The company, for its part, seems aware of its predicament: The Beast reports that Knight has not legally promised to pay Trump’s penalty if the former president’s appeal is unsuccessful. Instead, the document Knight produced indicates, Trump would still be responsible for paying.

Knight Specialty Insurance is owned by the “king of the subprime car loan,” right-wing billionaire Don Hankey. Hankey appeared to come to Trump’s rescue after the former president loudly struggled to post in his real estate fraud case.

But now, what appeared to be a stroke of luck for Trump may actually be a case of two grifters looking to get one over on one another. If Hankey’s company in fact has not legally agreed to pay the penalty, Trump may ultimately be forced to forfeit assets if he cannot cover the disgorgement himself. New York Attorney General Letitia James has promised to seize Trump properties if he cannot pay.

In dealing with a shady businessman like Hankey, Trump, whose Department of Justice sued Hankey for illegally repossessing the cars of military veterans, might have heeded the words of one of his favorite poems: “You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.”

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