Ho, Ho, Holy Crap! Rudy Giuliani Is Screwed.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly job creator who is visited by four ghosts to teach him in just a few short staves the most important of lessons: “Don’t be a dick.” I read that novella every year during the Christmas/Saturnalia season.

“Wait a minute,” some of you are saying, “Isn’t it three ghosts?” Well, let’s see, there are the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Ah, don’t forget the very first ghost to haunt Scrooge’s dimly lit bedchamber though: that of his former business partner and fellow crotchety old tightwad, Jacob Marley.

In the afterlife, Marley is cursed to wander the earth encumbered by a long chain made “of cash-boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, and heavy purses wrought in steel,” his just punishment for a lifetime of pettiness and greed. From now on, whenever I read “A Christmas Carol,” I’m going to have a hard time not picturing Rudy Giuliani perfectly cast as Jacob Marley in the stage play running in my head.

Now, Giuliani is indeed a tightwad businessman. We’ve largely forgotten that due to a stunning array of subsequent misbehavior, but after 9/11, “America’s Mayor” cashed in on his image through sordid business dealings, including by overcharging corporations to advise them on how to avoid terrorism. I guess corporations used funds that should have gone to their shareholders for this for the same reason you might have paid the former captain of the Exxon Valdez for advice on preventing oil spills, to steal my own joke.

Also, Giuliani is not exactly known for his spirit of giving either. Google searches for “Giuliani charitable giving” and “Giuliani philanthropy” turn up results for only a foundation unrelated to ol’ Rudy which is named after some folks who just happen to share his last name.

One thing I’ll give him: Rudy Giuliani is somewhat famous for his volunteer work. Involuntary volunteer work, that is, for the Trump campaign: Trump stiffed him on the bill. Yet, trying to sell your services for $20,000 per day to a bumbling would-be dictator and being unable to collect after-the-fact certainly doesn’t qualify for the annual hours of pro bono work Giuliani was supposed to be doing before he lost his law licenses.

Rapacity, stinginess, unwillingness to do anything for anybody except you or your boss whose boots you’re licking — these are all Jacob Marley-type behaviors. But Rudy Giuliani goes a step further and takes directly from people. Perhaps there’s a little Grinch in there too.

Most recently, a federal jury found Giuliani liable for $148 million in damages for defaming two Georgia election workers with his oft-repeated lies about vote stealing. The fact that the jury allocated over half the award to punitive damages shows just how much Giuliani did to unjustifiably ruin the lives of those poor women.

In addition to trying to destroy two innocent women, just to put forth a vastly abridged selection of his misbehavior, Giuliani:

Although he still owns real estate worth millions, Giuliani is reportedly close to destitution. Sadly, neither of those women he defamed nor any of the many other people he owes money to will probably ever see more than pennies on the dollar (if that). Take it from someone who knows through professional experience: it is very, very hard to collect through the legal system from someone like Giuliani.

On the other hand, it is also far from pleasant to be perennially dogged by creditors. A good deal of what Giuliani owes will not be dischargeable in bankruptcy. The debts will follow him for the rest of his life.

Hope remains that Giuliani could wind up in prison for what he’s done. Whether that happens or not, however, the rest of his days he’ll be walking the earth bent under the tremendous weight of a metaphorical chain of legal judgments.

Take heed the tale of Jacob, er, Rudy Giuliani. All ye readers, keep cheer and the spirit of generosity in your heart! And, of course, have a Merry Christmas!

Jonathan Wolf is a civil litigator and author of Your Debt-Free JD (affiliate link). He has taught legal writing, written for a wide variety of publications, and made it both his business and his pleasure to be financially and scientifically literate. Any views he expresses are probably pure gold, but are nonetheless solely his own and should not be attributed to any organization with which he is affiliated. He wouldn’t want to share the credit anyway. He can be reached at [email protected].

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