Culture

Judge likely to dismiss Rudy Giuliani’s bankruptcy case


By Michael R. Sisak | Associated Press

NEW YORK — A judge said Wednesday he was leaning toward throwing out Rudy Giuliani ‘s bankruptcy case after lawyers for the cash-strapped former New York City mayor and his biggest creditors — two ex-Georgia election workers who won a $148 million defamation judgment against him — agreed this was the best way forward.

The case has been roiled by allegations Giuliani is flouting bankruptcy laws and potentially hiding assets. A dismissal would end his pursuit of bankruptcy protection, but it wouldn’t let him off the hook for his debts. His creditors could pursue other legal remedies to recoup at least some of the money they’re owed, such as getting a court order to seize his apartments and other assets.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane said he plans to issue a decision by the end of the week. He scheduled a hearing for 1 p.m. Friday and could make his ruling at that time. Lane ruled out converting the case to a liquidation, an option Giuliani recently proposed, saying that doing so would not be in the best interest of people and entities he’s indebted to.

“I’m leaning toward dismissal, frankly, because I’m concerned that the past is prologue,” Lane said during a hybrid in-person and Zoom status hearing in White Plains, New York.

Giuliani’s lawyer, Gary Fischoff, said dismissing the case would allow the ex-mayor to pursue an appeal in the defamation case, which arose from his efforts to overturn Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss. Another alternative would be to have the Chapter 11 case continue while a court-appointed trustee takes control of Giuliani’s assets.

A lawyer for the former election workers, Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, accused Giuliani of using the bankruptcy process as a “bad-faith litigation tactic” and said “he regards this court as a pause button on his woes while he continues to live his life unbothered by creditors.”

“The question here is always going to be the cat-and-mouse game of what dollar can be funneled outside of the estate,” Freeman and Moss’ lawyer Rachel Strickland said. “Out in the real world, outside of bankruptcy, all dollars are fair game for everyone and Mr. Giuliani has to continue to live and do whatever it is he is able to do with his name, likeness and commentary in order to make a living.”

Lane scolded Giuliani at one point for interrupting the hearing. The ex-mayor, joining by phone, called Strickland’s comments “highly defamatory, your honor.”

Philip Dublin, a lawyer for a committee of Giuliani’s other creditors, said the committee would rather keep the bankruptcy case going with the appointment of a trustee.

Giuliani filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in December, days after the former election workers, Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, won their defamation case. They said Giuliani’s targeting of them because of Trump’s lies about the 2020 election being stolen led to death threats that made them fear for their lives.

Earlier this month, Giuliani requested that the case be converted to a …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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