Monday, August 27, 2012

Jacqueline Laurita Bankruptcy

We all know all about Teresa and Joe Giudice’s financial issues, and Joe and Melissa Gorga’s recent situation with their mortgage, but Jacqueline and Chris Laurita have also spent some time dealing with dicey financial issues.

Chris and brother Joseph Laurita were named in two multi-million dollar lawsuits. It’s kind of complicated, but here’s the breakdown:

Jay-Z founded a clothing line 12 years ago called Rocawear, which he no longer owns. A company called Iconix Brand Group licenses the brand name out to different companies to make the different lines, and Chris and Joseph Laurita’s now-bankrupt company Signature Apparel once made Rocawear’s junior line. Over two years ago, however, Signature Apparel liquidated and declared bankruptcy. During that time Chris, Jospeh, and their wives were named in a $7.8 million dollar lawsuit, the two families are accused of draining the company “of all its funds and assets in order to support their families’ increasingly opulent lifestyle of private jets, limousines, extravagant parties, premium automobiles, designer clothing, shopping sprees, ostentatious home furnishings and lavish vacations.”

According to documents published at Radar Online, the company was very successful, and pulled in $250 million between 2005 and 2009. However, the lawsuit accuses the Lauritas of using the money on themselves instead of responsibly reinvesting in the business.

Chris denied all 155 of the allegations against him, and Jacqueline denied knowing anything about it. They tried to get the lawsuit thrown out, but a judge has allowed all parties to prepare for a trial.

When the news broke of this lawsuit, Jacqueline Laurita took to Twitter to note the difference between a business bankruptcy and a personal one: “sorry2disappoint some of u but Business is not the same as personal &accusations don’t make it truth.We r doing good.You’ll see..” Even so, this doesn’t sound like a cakewalk.

A second lawsuit in November 2011 was filed by a Signature Apparel trustee who accused Chris and Joseph of Joseph of conspiring with “[Rocawear licensee] ROC Fashions and its principals to transfer the Rocawear license and other valuable assets to the latter from the former while Signature faced bankruptcy. In return, the suit alleges, ROC Fashions paid $2.8 million that the Lauritas allegedly kept for themselves rather than deposit in Signature Apparel’s coffers (where it could have been used to pay creditors).”

On What What Happens Live tonight Jacqueline Laurita was asked a viewer question: “What would you think of Teresa questioning you on camera about your families’ finances and lawsuits?”

Jacqueline answered “I didn’t bring anything out about Teresa. Teresa brought it out about Teresa. If you watch the other episodes, Teresa’s the one who talked about her bankruptcy on camera. She filmed with the attorneys. She’s the one who put the magazines out there. She’s the one who filmed adding onto her house, walking around with her expensive bags and shoes. It was her chance to explain tot he viewers to make sense of it all. If she was innocent of all this, that was her chance to set the story straight.”

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like Jax Abe wrong about te personal bankruptcy according to this bankruptcy lawyer's blog:

    "According to the lawsuit allegations, Laurita’s clan conspired to transfer valuable Rocawear licenses and other assets to ROC fashions before Signature’s bankruptcy filing. In exchange, the Lauritas received $2.8 million which went directly to supporting the lavish lifestyles of the family members, while none of it was reinvested into the company which was well on its way to bankruptcy due to mismanagement. If this is true, the bankruptcy trustee in this case can demand that the money is returned to the bankruptcy estate. If the Lauritas fail to return to the cash, they could face charges of bankruptcy fraud in addition to becoming personally responsible for some (or maybe all) of Signature’s debts. Because it appears that there is no separation between the personal finances and business finances of the Lauritas, the bankruptcy court may choose to pierce the corporate shield that would normally protect personal assets from seizure in a business bankruptcy."