The husband of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member Erika Jayne, Tom Girardi, and a couple of former members of his now-defunct law firm, Girardi Keese, have just been indicted on fraud charges.
Months after the former chief financial officer of Girardi Keese, Christoper Kamon, was arrested on suspicion of wire fraud, federal grand juries in two states have brought charges against the ex-CFO, as well as the disbarred attorney and his son-in-law, fellow lawyer David Lira.
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times confirmed, prosecutors announced the charges and an indictment in Chicago, noting that the men had been “charged with eight counts of wire fraud and four counts of contempt of court” after allegedly misappropriating in excess of $3 million in settlement funds meant for relatives of victims who died in a 2018 plane crash in Indonesia.
In recent years, Thomas has been accused of embezzling more than $15 million from former clients to support his law firm costs and the luxurious lifestyle he shared with his now-estranged wife, RHOBH star Erika. And as the report explained, a Los Angeles case claims Christopher and his boss “devised, participated in, and executed a scheme to defraud victim clients” for about 10 years, starting in 2010.
“Mr. Girardi and Mr. Kamon stand accused of engaging in a widespread scheme to steal from their clients and lie to them to cover up the fraud,” Martin Estrada, an L.A. attorney, said in a statement. “In doing so, they allegedly preyed on the very people who trusted and relied upon them the most — their clients. Actions like the ones alleged in the indictment bring disrepute upon the legal profession and will not be tolerated by my office.”
Meanwhile, in Chicago, attorney John R. Lausch Jr. commented on the alleged crimes of Thomas and David.
“Attorneys who violate the trust of their clients and breach a fiduciary duty that is paramount to the practice of law must be held accountable,” he stated.
As RHOBH fans well know, Thomas is currently under a court-ordered conservatorship run by brother Robert Girardi (due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis he received in early 2021) and living in a memory care unit in Orange County. However, many have posed questions in regard to the legitimacy of the diagnosis, suggesting that the former attorney could be using the illness to get around looming legal consequences.
As the L.A. Times explained, officials from the State Bar of California went to court with their suspicions, claiming the development had occurred under “highly unusual circumstances” and noting that evidence was “sparse.”
According to ABC7, Tom’s charges, five counts of wire fraud, carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
Although the official requested more testing be done to confirm the diagnosis, their request was dismissed.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 13 is expected to go into production later this month.