For those of you keeping score at home, there’s finally been some movement in the disastrous and seriously messy bankruptcy case involving former Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Jacqueline and Chris Laurita and their former company, Signature Apparel.
As you’ll recall, the company filed for bankruptcy back in 2009, but things hit a snag when several people, including Jacqueline and Chris, were accused of using the company money for extravagant personal use – like private jets and fancy ass vacations.
The case has been back and forth and lawyers jumped ship after they were owed almost $300,000 in unpaid fees.
Chris’ brother and sister-in-law had settled their part in the mess almost three years ago (for $1 million), but Jacqueline and Chris have been battling it out for years.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert E. Grossman for the Southern District of New York ruled on Thursday that Chris Laurita and management company Iconix, a subsidiary of Studio IP, were liable for fraud, negligent misrepresentation and tortious interference with contractual relations for diverting some of Signature Apparel’s assets. Laurita was also found liable for breach of his fiduciary duty, and Iconix was found liable for aiding and abetting Laurita’s fiduciary breach.
Grossman also found Studio IP liable for breach of contract, and New Star — another Chris Laurita compay — was liable for unjust enrichment of $1.8 million.
The Lauritas aren’t the first Real Housewives of New Jersey couple to have issues with bankruptcy fraud. Their former co-stars, Joe and Teresa Giudice, pled guilty to bankruptcy fraud in 2014 and Teresa was sentenced to 15 months in prison and was released last December. Joe is now serving his own sentence of 41 months.
No word on what type of punishments Chris is facing, but it sounds mostly financial in nature. A hearing will be set to figure out the damages.
TELL US – WHAT DO YOU THINK CHRIS SHOULD GET AS PUNISHMENT? WILL JACQUELINE HAVE ANY REPERCUSSIONS?
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