Former President Donald Trump is facing a hefty $464 million fraud fine, but there's speculation that the stock market might offer him a financial lifeline.

Trump Media, the company behind the Truth Social platform, is on the verge of going public through a merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp. Shareholders of Digital World are set to vote on the acquisition, which would give Trump a stake of at least 58% in the combined company, potentially valued at over $3 billion.

Despite concerns raised by auditors and ongoing lawsuits, including an $18 million fraud settlement from last year, individual investors, many of whom are Trump supporters, remain optimistic about the deal's success.

If approved, the merged company's shares will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol DJT, but it's unlikely to immediately resolve Trump's financial challenges, including the pending fraud penalty. Trump may explore options like securing a loan backed by his shares, although analysts suggest banks may be cautious due to the business's risks.

Nonetheless, Trump's backers remain hopeful that their support will assist him financially.

Mr. Nedohin, also known as Captain DWAC on Truth Social, refrained from interviews but encouraged investors on his show to approve the merger, suggesting it could aid Trump in his legal battles by granting him leverage through shares of DJT.

Despite the significant risk of financial loss for Digital World shareholders, with shares trading at nearly $43 each, down from the peak reached after the Trump Media acquisition announcement, the implied value of Trump Media surpasses $5 billion, despite generating only $3.3 million in revenue and suffering a nearly $50 million loss in the first nine months of last year.

The merger is expected to inject over $200 million in cash into Trump Media, potentially fueling its growth and expansion, although Truth Social, positioned as an alternative to major platforms like Twitter and Facebook, remains relatively small with around 8.9 million sign-ups and limited tracking of user metrics.

Analysts classify Digital World as a "meme stock," divorced from fundamental business realities and likely to decline eventually, although predicting the timing of such a collapse is challenging.

Individual investors surged into Digital World stock following the Trump deal announcement and again after his victory in the Iowa primary, but recent trading activity suggests professional firms may now be driving the market.

Despite Trump's minimal contributions to Trump Media beyond his name and platform posts, he stands to benefit significantly from the merger, representing a substantial transfer of value from investors to Trump himself.