Thomas Girardi, the estranged husband. Of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” cast member Erica Jane. Has been named in a five- and 12-count indictment.
A pair of federal grand juries have indicted a prominent Southern California attorney. And accused him of stealing millions of dollars from sympathetic victims. Court documents revealed Wednesday.
Girardi’s law partner Christopher Kaman and the firm’s head of accounting and finance. David Lira, also face 12 criminal charges.
Nine counts allege wire fraud. And three counts of misconduct by court officials, stemming from allegations. that the defendants failed to deliver money owed to their clients.
The charges in Chicago are linked to the firm’s dealings with five clients. Who lost loved ones in the 2018 Lion Air crash that killed 189 people.
According to the complaint, the agency secured. An $11 million settlement for four clients. And a $1.55 million settlement for a fifth.
The defendants used many of the funds to pay firm expenses, including payroll. American Express card charges and distributions to other clients “whose own settlement funds. Were before misappropriated,” the complaint alleges.
A grand jury in the Central District of California. Indicted Girardi and Kaman on five counts of wire fraud. Alleging that they laundered large sums of money from five highly sympathetic clients:
Defendants secured a $53 million settlement for a San Bruno, California. Client who was seriously injured in a natural gas explosion. But Girardi told the client the settlement was only for $7.25 million.
The Havasu City, Arizona, client’s husband was killed in a boating accident. And Girardi allegedly used a part of the $504,000 settlement “to pay for two exclusive country clubs.”( Housewives )
Defendants helped secure a $17.5 million settlement. For a Los Angeles resident and client’s son. Who was paralyzed in a car accident. But the defendants paid clients only a fraction. Of that total and falsely claimed that tax issues. Existing court proceedings and past medical bills were slowing distributions. According to the complaint.
U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada, who handles federal. Cases out of the Los Angeles-based Central District of California. Said the defendants targeted vulnerable clients. Who invested too much trust in their lawyers.
“Mr. Girardi and Mr. Kaman allegedly engaged in an elaborate scheme to steal from their clients. And lie to them to cover up the fraud,” Estrada said in the statement. “In doing so, they preyed on people who believed in and relied on Deed. Mostly on them – their clients. Acts like those of the accused bring disrespect. To the legal profession and my office will not tolerate it.
The legal drama involving Girardi and his wife played out on the hit Bravo reality show.
A storyline last season closely followed Girardi’s wife’s prized pair of diamond earrings. To her cheating victims.
Even before her breakout role on “Housewives.” Girardi was one of Southern California’s best-known and most respected attorneys.
“Thomas Vincent Girardi should have been a pillar of our community. Victimizing them a second time,” Tyler Hatcher. special agent in charge of the Los Angeles. Field Office of IRS Criminal Investigations. said in a statement.