Christopher Laurita, husband to Jacqueline Laurita, both of whom starred on the hit reality television show “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” for seven seasons, reached a $500,000 settlement on Wednesday over their now-defunct apparel company Signature Apparel.
The clothing store was forced into bankruptcy back in 2009.
Creditors for Signature Apparel Group, including Anthony Labrosciano, the person designated by the court to settle the company’s affairs, filed a lawsuit against the couple the following year, alleging that Christopher Laurita and his wife Jacqueline, former star of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, along with Christopher’s brothers Anthony and Joseph, and Joseph’s wife Adeline, used company money to fund their lavish lifestyles.
In fact, according to court documents, the family “depleted Signature’s assets by improperly using millions of dollars of Signature’s funds and charging millions more on Signature’s credit accounts as their own personal ‘piggy bank,’ which ultimately forced Signature into bankruptcy.”
On Wednesday, a bankruptcy judge in New York approved a proposed settlement for $500,000. The group originally asked for roughly $7.8 million to cover damages.
“The paramount interest of creditors in any bankruptcy case is to recover the greatest amount upon their allowed claims,” the court documents read. “Based on the [Signature Apparel Group’s] due diligence, [Signature Apparel] has concluded that collection from the [Lauritas] beyond the amounts sought in the agreement would prove particularly difficult, where the [Lauritas’] financials paint a bleak picture.”
According to court documents, Christopher Laurita has already paid a $50,000 deposit toward the half-a-million-dollar balance, and will pay off the rest in equal quarterly installments of $37,500. If he fails to make payments, however, he will be liable for $8 million.
According to the terms of the settlement Jacqueline will be “released of any further obligation” in the case. In an email to WWD, Jacqueline confirmed that she is “not responsible to pay anything.”
A hearing is scheduled for April 22 in New York to determine if the settlement will be approved. Christopher Laurita did not respond to requests for a comment.
This isn’t the first time one of the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” have been in hot water.
“Real Housewife of New Jersey” costar Margaret Josephs has been embroiled in a trademark battle with Vineyard Vines since 2014 over whale designs Josephs used in her Macbeth Collection, an apparel, accessory and home goods brand.