Judge says he’s leaning toward dismissing Giuliani bankruptcy case, allowing other legal avenues

ATLANTA — A federal judge says he is leaning toward dismissing former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s bankruptcy case.

Giuliani filed bankruptcy after a jury awarded Fulton County election workers Ruby Freeman and Shay Moss $148 million after they said he continued to spread lies about them tampering with votes from the 2020 election.

Dismissal would remove the shield surrounding Giuliani’s assets and allow Freeman and Moss, along with other creditors to pursue his money in the courts.

It would also allow Giuliani to appeal the defamation judgment.

“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. The judge cited what he said was Giuliani’s lack of transparency throughout the proceedings.

A lawyer for Freeman and 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.

Last week, Giuliani filed to have his bankruptcy case changed from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7. That would allow him to sell off his assets to pay for his debt but he would not have to provide creditors with a repayment plan.

On Monday, the Creditors Committee, which is overseeing the money owed to Moss and Freeman, filed an objection to converting the case, saying, “Giuliani has treated this Court, the bankruptcy process, and the Committee the same way he treated the D.C. District Court and the Freeman Plaintiffs in the Freeman Litigation, with utter disrespect and without accountability. Giuliani is playing the delay game.”

That filing was removed on Wednesday following a hearing in front of the judge.

The creditors in this case have already expressed their frustration with Guiliani after months of trying to get complete information on his finances.

The creditors have also asked that a trustee be named to oversee Giuliani’s finances.

Last week, the ex-federal prosecutor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate was disbarred as an attorney in New York after a court found that he repeatedly made false statements about Trump’s 2020 election loss. He is also facing the possibility of losing his law license in Washington after a board in May recommended that he be disbarred.

In Georgia and Arizona, Giuliani is facing criminal charges over his role in the effort to overturn the 2020 election. He has pleaded not guilty in both cases.

When he filed for bankruptcy, Giuliani listed nearly $153 million in existing or potential debts, including almost $1 million in state and federal tax liabilities, money he owes lawyers and many millions of dollars in potential judgments in lawsuits against him. He estimated he had assets worth $1 million to $10 million.

In his most recent financial filings in the bankruptcy case, he said he had about $94,000 cash in hand at the end of May while his company, Giuliani Communications, had about $237,000 in the bank. A main source of income for Giuliani over the past two years has been a retirement account with a balance of just over $1 million in May, down from nearly $2.5 million in 2022 after his withdrawals, the filings say.

In May, he spent nearly $33,000 including nearly $28,000 for condo and co-op costs for his Florida and New York City homes. He also spent about $850 on food, $390 on cleaning services, $230 on medicine, $200 on laundry and $190 on vehicles.

The judge signaled he would rule about the possible dismissal on Friday during another hearing.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.


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