Gary Giordano was in serious financial trouble and tried to scam a company out of $5 million in the months leading up to his Aruba vacation with Robyn Gardner, according to an attorney who faced him in court.
"Just a few months ago he was telling the court here that he was in financial distress, with what I understood to be him making much less money than his bills," said Thomas Murphy, who represented a staffing company Giordano sued for $5 million in January 2010. "So I don't know how he could wind up taking a vacation to Aruba, which I believe is not an inexpensive destination," Murphy said.
Giordano is being held as a suspect in Gardner's disappearance, and last week investigators said they were looking into a $1.5 million travel insurance policy on Gardner that listed Giordano as the beneficiary.Aruba Solicitor General Taco Stein has said that they trying to figure out whether the insurance policy has any bearing on the case.
Gary Giordano Sought $5 Million in Court
In the suit against the staffing company, Giordano was accused of forging documents in the suit and later dropped the case. Murphy said Giordano made up a contract and tried to sue the company for not upholding it.
"I accused him of committing perjury, I accused him of fabricating documents, I accused him of the worst sort of behavior that I could think of," Murphy said. "My professional judgment about Mr. Giordano was that he was not to be believed at any level about anything."
"I absolutely believe that Mr. Giordano, based on my experience defending my client, that he is capable of manufacturing out of whole cloth a story and then pursuing it to abnormal ends," Murphy said.
Meanwhile, Giordano was also suing one ex-wife for $7,000 and going to court to have his child support payments lowered from marriage to his first wife, according to court documents.
"I always said he was sue-crazy," said a woman who had a relationship with Giordano, but wished to remain anonymous. "He sues everybody."
Giordano, who lived in a million-dollar home in the wealthy D.C. suburb of Gaithersburg, Md., went to court in 2010 claiming that a change in his financial status made him unable to pay child support for his three children with his first wife. Murphy noted that Giordano told a judge his income was $4,500 a month while his mortgage payment was $5,000 a month. Murphy added that Giordano arrived to court in a Cadillac Escalade, a car that sells for upward of $60,000.
Maryland court records show Giordano had a history of theft from individuals in which he allegedly took amounts ranging from under $300 to more than $500. When he was arrested by Costco for shoplifting jewelry, he sued the company for false imprisonment, seeking $5,000, and lost, according to a source.
Giordano is being held in an Aruba jail as authorities there build a case against him. ABC News has reported that no one has come to visit Giordano since his arrest. Gardner's body has not yet been found.