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Gingrich Group files for bankruptcy

 

In another black eye for Newt Gingrich, the flagship of what's known in Washington as "Newt Inc." has filed for bankruptcy.

In a Chapter 7 filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Georgia, The Gingrich Group LLC, doing business as the Center for Health Transformation, filed for bankruptcy Wednesday. (Chapter 7 is "the chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for 'liquidation,' that is, the sale of a debtor's nonexempt property and the distribution of the proceeds to creditors," as defined by the federal courts.)

The vast majority of Gingrich's net worth is tied up in the Gingrich Group. Gingrich is worth overall between $7.1 million and $31 million, according to his financial disclosure. He lists a promissory note from Gingrich Group as being worth between $5 million and $25 million.

Rogelio Solis / AP

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich speaks at the Gulf Coast Energy Summit in Biloxi, Miss.

Gingrich was chairman of the group until May of last year, when he announced he was running for president. Since the candidate turned focus toward his presidential run, the Gingrich Group has struggled to raise money, leading to its eventual collapse.

The bankruptcy comes at a time when Gingrich's campaign is struggling to regain any momentum. He has won only two states during his run for president -- South Carolina and Georgia, his home state -- and he lags far behind front-runner Mitt Romney in the delegate count, in third place with just 137 out of the 1,144 needed to become the nominee.

Mitt Romney has half the delegates he'll need to secure the GOP nomination, but Newt Gingrich refuses to leave the race. The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty discusses.

Though he continues to pledge that he's "going to Tampa," the site of the Republican National Convention this summer, Gingrich is sounding increasingly like a candidate fighting for relevance rather than the presidency.

(Here are the bankruptcy filings - Part 1, Part 2.)

The news of the bankruptcy was first reported by the Atlanta Business Chronicle and confirmed by NBC News with the court in Atlanta and a federal court database search.

Gingrich pulled in $2.5 million -- the bulk of his income -- from January 2010 to August 2011 from sister organizations Gingrich Productions and Gingrich Communications.

On the campaign trail, Gingrich has touted ideas coming from his health think tank. And it has been a source of controversy, as questions were raised -- and other campaigns questioned - whether Gingrich acted as a lobbyist on behalf of the group in Georgia.

The Washington Post wrote: “[H]is time there exemplifies the former Georgia congressman’s post-legislative career as a well-paid consultant and policy guru, a role that earned him and his companies tens of millions of dollars over the past decade.”

NBC's Kathy Johnson and Marcie Rickun contributed to this report.