Giuliani Shouts ‘Defamatory’ During Bankruptcy Fraud Hearing

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Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani found himself flustered and defensive during a bankruptcy hearing when it was suggested he might attempt to commit fraud by concealing his assets. Giuliani was participating remotely when he vocally interrupted the proceedings after Rachel Strickland, a lawyer representing two Georgia election workers whom Giuliani is indebted to for $148 million, proposed the case be dismissed to continue in other courts. Strickland argued that keeping the bankruptcy case active might encourage Giuliani to hide assets, risking further legal trouble.

Giuliani’s debt nearly totals $152 million, largely stemming from a defamation judgment awarded to Ruby Freeman and Wandrea Moss, whom he falsely accused of ballot tampering in the 2020 election. His bankruptcy filing in December, shortly after the defamation verdict, hindered the plaintiffs’ ability to collect the judgment and also paused all other civil lawsuits against him, including another defamation case by Dominion Voting Systems and a sexual abuse lawsuit.

Over past months, Giuliani has attempted to slow the bankruptcy process through multiple motions, prolonging the resolution of his massive debt as he appeals the judgment. His creditors have accused him of submitting inaccurate financial disclosures and concealing income sources, leading them to request a Chapter 11 trustee to take over his asset management.

During the court session, confusion ensued when noises from Giuliani’s phone disrupted the proceedings. The judge, Sean H.

Lane, had to request repeatedly that Giuliani’s line be muted. Eventually, Giuliani asked for a pause to discuss what he considered “defamatory remarks” by Strickland, but was instructed to wait his turn.

As the hearing progressed, Giuliani’s lawyer reassured the court that there would be no attempts at bankruptcy fraud by his client. Meanwhile, proposals to sell off Giuliani’s assets to settle debts were debated. Some parties suggested liquidating his two apartments and jewelry, but the complications of selling off his media company and other personal brand-related assets could mean less recovery for the creditors.

Ultimately, all parties, including lawyers for Freeman and Moss, agreed that the best resolution would be to dismiss the bankruptcy case. This dismissal would allow the defamation judgment appeal process to continue and would enable other creditors to pursue their claims independently. The judge expressed a likely inclination to dismiss the case due to ongoing transparency issues within the proceedings.

Giuliani’s tarnished reputation continues to suffer as he faces numerous legal battles, including potential disbarment in Washington, D.C. and criminal indictments in Georgia and Arizona relating to his attempts to contest the 2020 election results.

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