Thursday, February 2, 2023 – Tom Giradi, a disgraced Los Angeles attorney and estranged husband of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Erika Jayne, was on Wednesday, February 1, indicted by a grand jury for allegedly embezzling more than $15 million from his clients.
The Department of Justice said Giradi who is the co-founder of the defunct Los Angeles law firm ‘Girardi Keese’, will now be charged with five counts of wire fraud which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. Girardi and Christopher Kazuo Kamon, the former controller and chief financial officer of the law firm Girardi Keese, are accused of lying to their clients in order to misappropriate settlement funds.
The attorney and his former CFO allegedly used the clients’ winnings to fund payroll, other clients’ settlement funds that had previously been misappropriated and personal expenses.
The DOJ detailed how Girardi and Kamon, 49, allegedly pulled off their crimes, noting that the pair would tell their duped clients that there were certain requirements they had to meet in order to access their money.
Among those obstacles were claims that clients had to eliminate purported tax obligations, obtain authorizations from judges and satisfy medical liens and other debts.
One of the alleged victims highlighted in the indictment was a family consisting of two adults and a child, who was paralyzed in a car crash.
In July 2019, Girardi negotiated a $17.5 million settlement due to the injuries they sustained in the accident, but $5,119,449 of that money was deposited into a bank account controlled by him.
The indictment comes nearly three months after it was revealed that Girardi got away with several complaints throughout his legal career as the State Bar of California ignored hundreds of complaints filed against him and did not disbar him because of it.
Giradi was disbarred in California in July 2022, following the initial accusations of embezzlement, and he has since been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and placed under a conservatorship.
United States Attorney Martin Estrada said in a press release;
‘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.’
‘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.’