Rudy Giuliani admits he is bankrupt.

It’s unclear, given the Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition he filed today, whether it was his lying to cheat or his “scheme” to avoid paying taxes that was the final straw. He owes just shy of $1 million, to NY State and IRS, for two years of taxes.

Republicans have been quite clear that they believe that kind of tax negligence merits immediate incarceration — at least it does in Hunter Biden’s case.

In addition to the $148M judgement he owes Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, he also owes his co-defendant in the Hunter Biden lawsuit, Robert Costello, over $1.3M for past representation.

Ultimately, this is expected and a direct response to Beryl Howell’s order that he pay up immediately.


118 replies
  1. Mike Stone says:

    Rudy’s is probably hiding assets somewhere. I wonder if the bankruptcy court can go back the past few years to see the transactions that this guy made. Probably the only way to determine if he is really bankrupt.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      It can certainly go back a full year. The judge has a lot of discretion, so it will be important to see which one he gets.

      There was talk that Rudy had a property in FL that he wanted to shield using a state homestead exemption. But Rudy filed in NY, claiming that was his state of residence. Hard to see how he could shield property in another state if his primary residence is in NYC.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          None of his assets are listed. But Rudy checked the “No” box in Sched. D, claiming that no creditors have liens secured by his property.

          I suppose he could be a partial-year resident in FL. It would be a matter of FL law, if that’s sufficient to claim a homestead exemption.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Rudy didn’t have to list his assets, other than to identify that they were within a given range of value. But he did have to disclose in Sched. D whether a creditor had a lien on any of them. He checked the “No” box.

              The Daily Mail article says he had a “formal agreement” with the IRS to pay off the liens. His filing, however, says he still owes the Feds, which should mean the lien still exists.

              Rudy might want to reread what he signed:

              I have examined this petition, and I declare under penalty of perjury that the information provided is true and correct.

              • timbozone says:

                Doesn’t Florida law exempt one’s personal residence from bankruptcy seizure? Seem to recall that that was the case at some time in the past…

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  The homestead exemption is available under state and federal law, but you have to choose one: your home state or the federal exemption.

                  The exemption applies to the amount of your equity that can be exempted from inclusion in the bankruptcy estate. Unusually, FL allows an unlimited exclusion. The exemptions for NY and under the federal rules are basically the same: about $27,000, or a tenth of what Rudy used to spend every month.

                  • earlofhuntingdon says:

                    My bad. The federal exemption is $27,900. NY state has three tiers. The amount for the counties arguably comprising metro NY is the highest, just shy of $180,000. There’s another tier at about $150k, and a lower tier at about $90k.

                    About twenty states allow you to combine state and federal exemptions. The rest require you to choose state or federal.

                    About six states, including FL and TX, allow an unlimited exemption. NJ and PA, on the other hand, apparently have a zero exemption, which means you’re stuck with the paltry federal one.

              • earlofhuntingdon says:

                But Rudy filed in NY, claiming to be a resident (even though he’s listed his Manhattan residence for sale). He seems to own that condo in FL, but his residency status there is unclear. You can have residency in more than one state (Ohio and FL, for example), but you can only have one primary residence.

                He should have moved outright to FL sooner, given that it is unusual in allowing an unlimited homestead exemption. The exemptions allowed by NY and the feds are a pittance in comparison.

                • Tech Support says:

                  The super-rich thumbing their noses at creditors with the FL and TX homestead exemptions is a time-honored tradition that goes back decades. Rudy is just so spectacularly bad at this.

          • Becker0313 says:

            Lifetime Florida resident here. Part-time residence in Florida with your true primary residence in another state does not allow for the Florida Homestead Exemption allowance.

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              • nord dakota says:

                So DJT could not keep if he went bankrupt? Does he own personally or is it company property and he is just live in staff?

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  MAL is a business asset, not a private residence eligible for a homestead exemption. The greater risk to his ownership of it is the civil fraud trial in NY.

    • Ebenezer Scrooge says:

      The general lookback period for fraudulent transfers is two years in the Bankruptcy Code, with longer periods for self-settled trusts and homestead exemptions. Creditors can also try their luck with longer periods under state law.

    • freebird says:

      If Rudy hides assets he will be subject to 5 years in prison and a $250k fine. The purpose of bankruptcy is to disclose all assets and liabilties in order to discharge certain debts. His past lawyers will be officially screwed. Tort claims like those to the Georgia election workers are not dischargeable.

      If he was hiding assets that are difficult to find there would be no need to file and to break bankruptcy laws.

      • commonphoole says:

        Hiding assets in bankrupty or divorce is common. Rare if it is punished. No Rudy will not have money in a bank in cyprus because it is like leaving the money with an oligarch you only have right to withdraw with permission.

        • freebird says:

          Celebrities who FAFOed such as Boris Becker and Teresa Giudice would disagree. They both spent time incarcerated. Some of the workout customers at the banks I worked for spent time at Club Fed for bankruptcy fraud.

          US Marshals have skills and are incentivized to find the assets because they get 10% of the recovery and they have guns.

    • KarenJ503 says:

      I wonder if part of the 2019 divorce arrangements between his rather prescient 3rd wife Judith and him included her squirrelling away a good portion of his assets to be turned back over to him at a later date of his choosing. Obviously now would not be the time!

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Rudy failed to answer the second part of question 17, regarding whether he anticipates that there will be funds left over to pay unsecured creditors.

    In Qs 19 & 20, he says his “assets,” not net assets, are $1-10 million, his debts are $100-500 million. (The ranges provided in the form.)

    His bankruptcy counsel is Heath S. Berger, in Syosset, NY.

  3. Rugger_9 says:

    It also depends upon whether the BK11 judge permits discharge of the debt to the ladies, and IIRC court orders like this after the verdict are not dischargeable especially since it involved intentional acts by the judgement debtor. However, IANAL and bankruptcy law seems to be fairly specialized.

    What it does do is potentially put Judge Beryl Howell’s extraction process (OEX, etc.) on hold allowing Rudy to hide some more assets. I’m sure Vlad will help do those things, for a price of course.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Filing for bankruptcy leads to an automatic stay of all collection efforts. So, yes, Beryl Howell’s order for Rudy to pay up is on hold. That’s probably the reason for this filing. He owed $4 million or more to lawyers, but waited until after the verdict in the Freeman, Moss case and Howell’s order before filing.

      Having a damage claim for intentional conduct alone is not sufficient: a creditor has to assert the claim IN the bankruptcy proceedings, and establish to the judge’s satisfaction that the intentional conduct meets the standard for non-dischargeability. That’s not likely to be hard for Freeman & Moss’s claim.

      Any attempt by Rudy to hide assets in a bankruptcy proceeding, either after he files or for a period before he files. is a separate federal crime.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      In a bankruptcy, assets are insufficient to pay all debts. Debts are prioritized by class until assets are exhausted. Creditors receive their pro rata share of the assets available to their class. Rudy seems to have two classes of creditor: in effect, administrative and tax costs, and everyone else.

      Freeman and Moss have over 95% of the current total. That percentage will decline, if and when other litigants (principally, HB, Dominion, Smartmatic) prevail in their suits.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Rudy gives a total of about $1.0 million for priority claims (mostly taxes) and $152 million for non-priority, unsecured claims. He claims creditors have no liens on his property.

    On pages 9 &10, he claims to owe the IRS about $730,000, for tax years 2021 and 2022, and another $265,000 to NY state for the same years. Also, $10,000 to accountants, $2.0 million to a lawyer, Daniel Gill, and about $1.4 to another, Davidoff, Hutcher, about $400,000 to a third, and an “unknown” amount to a fourth.

    He lists Hunter Biden as a creditor for an unknown amount, and Freeman and Moss for $148 million, and unknown disputed amounts to Smartmatic and Dominion, and various service providers.

  5. LordAvebury says:

    I’m curious. Why Chapter 11 rather than Chapter 7? What is there to “reorganize” in this case? (Ignore if too far OT.)

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Given the monthly disclosure/reporting requirements (which he’s likely to quickly screw up), the de facto obligation to act in good faith and be able to financially recover, odds seem good that Rudy will eventually choose or be forced into a Ch. 7. But that’s some way off.

    • RitaRita says:

      He can use Chapter 11 to delay final reckoning while he formulates a plan. His plan will attempt to get creditors to accept pennies on the dollar and on an installment basis over a period of time.

      This is what Alex Jones is doing.

      Of course, he has to perform. But look at the model Trump has provided – seraitim bankruptcies when he couldn’t perform.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Rudy has two problems. One, Freeman and Moss are his biggest creditors. By far. They have the votes to determine what happens in bankruptcy, and whether and when to force him into a Ch. 7. They have no incentive to play ball on anything. That only changes, and not really in Rudy’s favor, if he loses one or more of his big three suits.

        Two, is that creditors never accept less than they would get in a straight liquidation. But gifts aside, Rudy’s potential income seems to be slim and none. He’s a 79 year-old drunk buried in prosecutions and litigation. It’s hard to see what he could credibly offer beyond a straight liquidation. Something tells me, Freeman and Moss would be happy with that. But they might put him through the agony of monthly disclosures and filings that would be required under a Ch. 11, because he will inevitably give up and say, fuck it.

        • Confused Reader says:

          Genuine question: If his actual income is so slim, how does he owe a million dollars in taxes just for the last two tax years?

          A few posts above this one someone wrote: “On pages 9 &10, he claims to owe the IRS about $730,000, for tax years 2021 and 2022, and another $265,000 to NY state for the same years.”

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          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            The tax bills are for 2021 and 2022. Rudy has declined precipitously since Trump left office. He’s 79, and a drinking alcoholic, who is under intense legal and financial pressure. And he’s lost his business, his network, and his license to practice law.

        • RitaRita says:

          Freeman and Moss might go along with a plan that calls for immediate payment even if it is less than what they would get in a Ch. 7 liquidation. Freeman and Moss would probably also accept pennies on the dollar + a full throated apology by Giuliani.

          Giuliani will play the delay game for as possible.

          It will be fun to watch Costello and Freeman and Moss work together against Giuliani.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            There is no reason for them to take less than they would in a Ch. 7. Whatever Rudy has now is likely to be it. Short of winning the lottery – about 325 million-to-one odds against – Rudy has no viable financial prospects.

            Freeman and Moss’s claim is likely to survive appeal, if there is one, and be non-dischargeable. If reduced by the court or on appeal, their claim would still put Rudy deeply under water. And there are at least three other claimants that could substantially increase his debts.

            As the bankruptcy proceeds, the only thing that’s likely to change is that their percentage of Rudy’s diminishing pot of gold is likely to reduce. But they will have bankrupted and made him powerless, which is the nightmare of greedy grifters.

          • Ginevra diBenci says:

            Even if his current insistence that those 2020 claims remain provable is merely performative, Giuliani has put himself in a position where no “full throated apology” could have any meaning, even if he delivered it on every Fox primetime show nightly for a week.

            Does anyone still listen to him?

  6. Error Prone says:

    He must think his fortunes are capable of rehabilitation. This stays any post judgment collection activity per the voter fraud defamation lawsuit. My question is why not force him into a Chapter 7, and bone pick?

    People knowing bankruptcy practice nuances are asked to reply and share understanding.

    Did he file pro se, or does he have a lawyer?

      • Ed Walker says:

        Here’s his bio:

        He looks like a lawyer with a volume practice, (filed over 10K petitions) but claims to have top litigating skills. I’m guessing he took a walloping up front fee, which I assume will eventually be disclosed. \

        As an aside, it’s common for large law firms to have a couple of go-to lawyers for their clients. There’s a tacit agreement the BK lawyers won’t steal the clients in the event of a good outcome.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          NYC has some of the best bankruptcy lawyers in the business, and they charge like it. Presumably, Rudy didn’t have the money or couldn’t get them to work for him. He’s too much like Trump.

          If Berger has managed 10K bankruptcy cases, and continues to practice in other areas of the law – and his firm has no one else who specializes in it – he doesn’t spend much time on each case. So, cookie-cutter, which works for the normal consumer bankruptcy. But Rudy’s is not likely to be a normal case, nor is he a normal client.

          • RitaRita says:

            Isn’t Giuliani’s son Andrew also a lawyer?

            And Giuliani has a lot of lawyer pals. I have a feeling that Berger is just the lucky lawyer whose name will be on the filings.

            I can’t imagine Giuliani’s friends letting him suffer too much. And their largesse will not be part of any bk plan.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Rudy’s already virtually twisting in the wind. He won’t be doing much besides suffering from now on, which isn’t likely to increase his income, or help his drinking or decision making. He’s becoming little more than financial carrion.

          • Harry Eagar says:

            If Giuliani’s War Room interview is reliable, then he didn’t read the petition carefully (or at all) before signing.

            He also told Bannon he has no outstanding loans or mortgages and he seemed to say he has assets around $15 million.

        • Notyouraveragenormal says:

          Bankruptcy counsel fees are super-secured i.e. top of the list in priority when it comes to pay-out from available assets. Counsel’s fees, including a description of services undertaken, will become a matter of public record.

    • Troutwaxer says:

      He imagines that Trump will win the election and that Freeman, Moss and their lawyers will end up in a camp with excellent oven and shower facilities.

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The bankruptcy filing requires Rudy to list his creditors and amounts he owes to each, principally so they can be notified and act to protect their interests. If he fails adequately to identify his creditors, the judge can throw out his petition and he’d have to start over.

    Rudy claims to have $1-10 million in assets, but he’s not yet required to identify what they are. That comes later. Given his demonstrated lack of good faith, creditors are likely to be exhaustive in their efforts to identify all his assets. If it can be proven that Rudy has tried to hide them, he would be looking at prison time.

    • TooLoose LeTruck says:

      MC Hammer tried that – hiding assets – in the late nineties, when he filed for bankruptcy…

      Didn’t work for MC… he got caught, the judge threw the bankruptcy out of court, and left Mr. Hammer at the mercy of his creditors.

      I remember where his big ass house was, down above 880 near Fremont on the hillside. Don’t know who owns it now, but it’s not MC.

      I don’t doubt that Rudi would try the same thing, in the least…

    • xyxyxyxy says:

      That article talks about Victoria Toensing, who with her husband and law partner, Joseph diGenova, have been friends with Giuliani for decades.
      “As United States Attorney, I investigated the Leon Klinghoffer murder by Yasir Arafat,” he told the Jewish audience, referring to the infamous 1985 slaying of a wheelchair-bound, 69-year-old New York businessman aboard the Achille Lauro, an Italian ship hijacked off the coast of Egypt by Palestinian extremists. “It’s honestly the reason why I knew so much about Arafat,” says Giuliani. “I knew, in detail, the Americans he murdered. I went over their cases.”
      On the contrary, Victoria Toensing, the deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department in Washington who filed a criminal complaint in the Lauro investigation, says that no one in Giuliani’s office “was involved at all.”

      • AndTheSlithyToves says:

        Precisely! Barrett is pointing out that Toensing, despite being long-time friends with Giuliani, is politely calling him out for lying about his terrorist credentials. He and Trump are a matched set.

  8. David F. Snyder says:

    OT: Smith’s response today to Trump’s response on granting cert: https://www .documentcloud .org/documents/24234728-smith-reply-to-scotus
    Less than 3 months to March 4.

    • Peterr says:

      His moral and ethical bankruptcy has already been proven in court by his three ex-wives in their three divorce proceedings.

  9. DJB83TIGER says:

    Here are some assets Rudy probably doesn’t realize he has.

    By the way lots of people don’t realize they have unclaimed property, DJT among them.

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  10. Ed Walker says:

    This is an obvious case for the appointment of a Chapter 11 Trustee under 11 USC 1104. Beryl Howell has determined that Rudy is likely to dispose of assets, and he’s a serial offender.

    The claim of Moss and Freeman is disputed and unliquidated, at least theoretically, because Rudy can appeal, but they are parties in interest and so would be allowed to file the motion. If granted, there is an election at which only holders of undisputed, liquidated claims are allowed to vote. The largest holders are the lawyers Rudy stiffed. I’m sure they won’t vote for a bad trustee.

    In the alternative, the US Trustee is allowed to move for appointment of an examiner to check over Rudy’s financial machinations for the last few years. In some cases the UST can move for a Trustee, and I bet this is such a case.

    The main goal is to prevent the free-spending toad from burning the money that belongs to his creditors; the subsidiary goal is to bring into the estate any assets Rudy may have hidden or concealed behind corporate facades.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Rudy can now appeal only if the bankruptcy court allows it, given the assets he would need to file it. He’s unlikely to win an appeal on the merits, having chosen not to mount a defense, and having continued to defame the plaintiffs. The award might be lowered by half or more, but that still puts him in the same deep hole he’s already in.

  11. Error Prone says:

    Parties extending credit in a pending bankruptcy can be granted a priority claim.

    Could Trump use that? In effect priority hush money to lessen current pressure Rudy might feel toward turning as Sidney Powell did? How discretionary is granting a priority with the presiding bankruptcy judge? In Chap. 11 getting credit normally is a factor with the availability of a priority an incentive to lend.

    But is this a credible Chap. 11, while it was petitioned as such?

    It is early in the process. Rudy buys time, but it is like paying out rope in hope he hangs himself. DOJ likely will be careful to not make it look as if Biden is vindictive.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Perhaps DoJ and Joe Biden will not appear to be vindictive by not being vindictive. But how, pray tell, do they enter into Rudy’s bankruptcy, his debts to private plaintiffs, etc.?

      As for the bankruptcy, what would be the purpose of lending to Rudy? What prospects does he have that such aid would resuscitate, and allow him to continue in a Ch. 11? The loans would have to benefit the estate, meaning its creditors, in order to receive priority. That is, they would have to increase the estate’s assets or reduce its liabilities. The latter might result from paying for his litigation defenses, but Trump refused to do that earlier. Why would he do it now when the accounting for it would be so public?

      • RitaRita says:

        Rudy’s ongoing operations involve grifting and foreign bribes. It will be interesting to see how he puts together a Ch. 11 plan. I can imagine only imagine the objections to such a plan.

        Maybe Trump will offer to guaranty Rudy’s debts. The bankruptcy judge might be less than impressed with that proposal, especially after Judge Engoron rules in the NY fraud trial.

        But there will be no viable plan proposed.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          A guarantee from Trump, obviously through a cut-out, with no personal recourse to Trump, would be funny. What would it guarantee? Hard to imagine that it wouldn’t need to called on immediately. Rudy is wildly in over his head. His losses will only mount, with no real income coming in.

  12. Ed Walker says:

    Rudy hasn’t filed an appeal in the Freeman and Moss case as far as I know. There’s a question as to whether a Ch. 11 Trustee would agree to pay for an appeal. It would be far cheaper to negotiate with Freeman and Moss to split the claim into an allowed unsecured claim for damages, and a disputed unliquidated claim for the balance, which would include the punitive damages. Any plan would pay these in different classes.

    Then tell Rudy he gets to figure out how to pay for an appeal on the latter, which is going to be non-dischargeable.

  13. Konny_2022 says:

    Two more observations from the bankruptcy filing:

    Noelle Dunphy who sued Giuliani for sexual harassment (claiming $10M in damages) earlier this year reemerges as a creditor (amount unknown).

    Giuliani Partners LLC is listed as codebtor for $30K owed to Momentum Telecom, Inc.

  14. harpie says:

    NEW information; #J6TL:
    Dec 21, 2023 · 11:22 PM UTC

    It’s long been a mystery what then-President Donald Trump told the Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers on a phone call in November 2020. [11/17/20] Thanks to sources and journalism, it’s no longer a mystery. [link]

    Links to:
    Trump recorded pressuring Wayne County canvassers not to certify 2020 vote
    Craig Mauger The Detroit News 12/21/23 6:20 PM ET Updated 7:45 PM ET

    • P’villain says:

      Just performing his presidential duties, amiright?

      And Ronna McDaniel is a disgrace to her grandfather’s memory.

    • Rayne says:

      Though I don’t usually read The Hill, its summary of DetNews’ report does a crisper job of encapsulating this:

      Former President Trump pushed Michigan canvassers to not certify the results of the 2020 election during a phone call, according to recordings obtained by The Detroit News.

      “We’ve got to fight for our country,” Trump said on the recordings, per the Detroit newspaper. “We can’t let these people take our country away from us.”

      The call, in which Trump reportedly pressured Republican Wayne County Canvassers Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, occurred on Nov. 17, 2020, according to The News. It also involved Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel.

      “If you can go home tonight, do not sign it. … We will get you attorneys,” McDaniel said on the recording, per the newspaper.

      The presidential candidate running for re-election called only the GOP canvassers with the help of the GOP party chair — two white GOP canvassers in a white minority county.

      That’s not the president enforcing voters’ rights; the executive office performs that through the Department of Justice. That’s a GOP candidate pressuring GOP canvassers to flip an election.

      I supposed that’s a post, huh?

      • harpie says:

        Mauger [Detroit News] ties it back in with the J6Committee report and the timing of McDANIELS’ phone calls…this call may have been from her phone.
        [Now I’ll stop posting here, in case you do put up a post.]

        • Rayne says:

          Yeah, it could be which could make one ask why they simply didn’t say it was from J6 committee. But there’s also an open internecine war inside the MIGOP going on — suspect the source was MIGOP member and not McDaniels because she’s national.

      • RitaRita says:

        When someone asks you to do something and tells you that they will get lawyers for you, you should smell a rat and get your own lawyers.

        • Rayne says:

          I suspect they already had lawyers. Somebody in the room with them at the time of the call leaked the recording to Detroit News — and it was likely someone conservative they trusted since the Detroit News leans right (they didn’t leak to the Detroit Free Press which leans left).

          I have a post half drafted about this. :-)

  15. MsJennyMD says:

    I was pretty successful before Sept. 11 and fully expected that when I left being mayor I would be very successful.
    Rudy Giuliani

  16. Error Prone says:

    Around Sept. 8, 2023, AP published, “Trump hosts a $100,000-per-person fundraiser to help Giuliani pay legal bills.” It seems no follow-up was published about how much was raised, who owns the proceeds, who controls the checkbook, and what’s been spent, how.

    When it gets to Rudy’s assets being accounted in the bankruptcy, something about this should show up, even if just a creditor’s questioning. A hope is if Rudy goes on record with “I don’t know” such a reply would be widely reported. One can see a reason to not make it a Rudy asset, given his precarious fiscal state even then, but what happened to the money is a general interest question.

    “What happened to the money” is always a general interest question. In this instance the unpaid lawyers might be the parties to ask such a question. One expects they’d not be negligent about asking.

    • Peterr says:

      It is not beyond the realm of possibility that the money raised went straight to the lawyers.

      I have been part of more than a few charitable fundraising events where folks are asked to make their checks payable to the charity, not to the folks putting on the event.

  17. Error Prone says:

    Might wall builder Steve Bannon form an LLC called, “Friends of Giuliani,” or some such, and under the banner of “help the man” solicit funds? If so, would he be in any way legally bound to actually use the money for such a purpose? If done as a non-profit there likely are accountability rules, (in Minnesota the AG supervises), but if done by Bannon or some other Trump affiliate, or from the general public, as a for profit thing, what consequences might arise over disbursement of funds aside from “help the man” spending? If done non-profit, there are management expenses and fees that could accrue. As with the Trump $100,000 per plate Sept. fundraiser, Trump might have charged a self-set fee for providing the venue. Nothing that way was reported. If that fundraiser was done as an independent LLC or under some other guard wall might there be attendant reporting norms, especially if characterized as a non-profit? BOTTOM LINE: is money raised under such representations then obligated toward Rudy legal fees in a way bringing such funds into the Chap. 11 as debtor assets? And, if not, where has the money gone?

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