During a recent podcast appearance, Ronald Richards, the attorney hired to investigate The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member’s finances, as well as potential transfers she received from Thomas or his law firm, Girardi Keese, further explained his case against her while also questioning Thomas’ Alzheimer’s diagnosis and Erika’s claims about a car accident he had years ago.
“The law firm had a lot of jewelry expenditures [and] I can tell you that there’s a strong probability that a lot of the jewelry purchases went to his wife,” Ronald revealed on the August 3 episode of Juicy Scoop. “I’m sure she’s just contending they’re gifts. [But] on the legal side, you really can’t have millions of dollars worth of jewelry where it’s client’s settlement money or wrongfully appropriated attorney’s fees or lender fees.”
In July, amid accusations of embezzling $2 million from orphans and widows of plane crash victims, Erika stepped out in what appeared to be a $189,000 ring. And, while Ronald noted that he isn’t interested in Erika’s personal belongings, he said she may be forced to “cut a check” if it is proven that the money used to purchase the pricey jewelry came from Thomas’ firm.
“Hypothetically, if she got $1 million in jewelry, she’s going to have to cut a check for some of these jewelry purchases because it’s not really fair to the victims,” he explained.
“The doctor that examined him, the probate judge doesn’t have the same sort of sensitivities if he’s willing to take an examination that’s based on just self-reporting, not MRIs or physical exams,” he pointed out, adding, “I think this is part of his desperate protection mechanism.”
In addition to his initial suspicions regarding the diagnosis, Ronald said he also has evidence that contradicts Thomas’ claims of mental incompetency.
“There was a lot of communications with Mr. Girardi to his family members, including Erika, close to the time he was about to be held in contempt. Those would be inconsistent with someone that has dementia,” he shared.
While Erika filed for divorce nearly one year ago, Ronald said her husband’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis could hold up the proceedings for some time before noting that if Erika could prove he’s lying about the diagnosis, “it would show she’s not involved.”
According to Ronald, he not only doubts Thomas’ mental diagnosis, but also Erika’s claims regarding his accident.
“There’s no medical records to collaborate any of that,” he said. “She has an important narrative she’s trying to tell.”
Although Ronald acknowledged that Erika is paid for her role on the show, he said the amount “is nothing to get totally excited about” before saying “she’s getting that money from somewhere” and refusing to say where.
“She doesn’t want to tell me how she’s getting that money, which raises a big red flag and makes me believe the motive for her trying to disrupt my client’s choice of counsel is because she knows I’m very close to finding out the current source of her expenses,” he shared, noting the possibility of Thomas potentially giving the funds to a third party, who then passed them on to Erika.
Also on the podcast, Ronald confirmed his investigation of Erika is not a criminal investigation.
“If she received the benefits or transfers, it’s just simply she has to return them or she’s going to be liable for them. And all of her community property is liable for the debts of the law firm and of Tom Girardi,” he added.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 11 airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on Bravo.