A diverse coalition owed money by Rudy Giuliani meets virtually for first bankruptcy hearing

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NEW YORK (AP) — A group of people and businesses who say they are owed money by Rudy Giuliani gathered virtually Friday for the first court hearing since he declared bankruptcy last month after losing a defamation suit to two Georgia election workers.

During a two-hour Zoom hearing, an attorney for Giuliani told a U.S. bankruptcy judge that the former New York City mayor lacks the funds to pay the $148 million he owes the election workers for spreading a conspiracy about their role in the 2020 election. Others with claims against Giuliani should expect to wait as well.

“There’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow," the attorney, Gary Fischoff, said, noting that Giuliani was making his living as a radio and podcast host while dealing with a wide range of “financial issues.”

The bankruptcy filing has brought forth a diverse coalition of creditors who previously sued Giuliani for unrelated issues.

In addition to the election workers, creditors include a supermarket employee who was thrown in jail for patting Giuliani’s back, two elections technology companies that he spread conspiracies about, a woman who says he coerced her into sex, several of his former attorneys, the IRS and Hunter Biden. Biden is suing Giuliani, saying he wrongly shared his personal data after obtaining it from the owner of a computer repair shop.

Giuliani’s bankruptcy filing last month came one day after a judge ordered him to immediately pay $148 million to Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss. The Chapter 11 declaration halted the judgment but also prevented Giuliani from challenging the verdict.

During Friday's hearing, Giuliani's attorney tried to convince the bankruptcy judge, Sean Lane, to temporarily lift a stay to allow him to appeal the judgment.

Lane agreed to the procedural step, with certain conditions, adding, “There is a legitimate concern here about the expenses and the cost and the delay.”

Some of Giuliani’s creditors have expressed concerns that he is taking advantage of the bankruptcy process to avoid paying his debts.

Noting that Giuliani has a “transactional relationship with the truth,” an attorney for a group of creditors, Abid Qureshi, urged the judge to set guardrails ensuring the litigation did not drag on unnecessarily.

And he hinted at possible conflict among those who say they are owed money by Giuliani, cautioning that the judge's decision could carry "unintended consequences of a certain creditor jumping the queue.”

Ron Kuby, an attorney representing Daniel Gill, a ShopRite employee who is suing Giuliani for allegedly fabricating an assault against him, said there was “no disharmony among the creditors.”

The next hearing is scheduled for Jan. 31.