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State Bar Of California Charges Erika Girardi’s Estranged Husband Tom Girardi With Misappropriating Millions From Clients!

The State Bar of California filed discipline charges against Tom Girardi, the estranged husband of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Girardi, formally accusing him of misappropriating millions in client funds, dishonesty, and other acts of moral turpitude in his law practice, reports Los Angeles Times.

The 19-page filing in the State Bar’s Los Angeles court identifies three cases in the last year where the attorney allegedly failed to immediately and fully pass on financial settlements he had negotiated for clients.

In one West Virginia settlement with a medical device manufacturer, a couple represented by Girardi’s firm, Girardi Keese, was due about $56,000, according to the filing. Though the manufacturer wired the money to the firm in May, Girardi never passed the money on, even telling the pair falsely months later that he was still awaiting a court order, the filing states. To this day, the couple, Michael and Josefina Hernandez, have not received their settlement funds, according to the filing.

Another case concerns a widow whose husband died in a boating accident at Lake Havasu in Arizona. Girardi secured Judy Selberg a $500,000 settlement last March, but according to the bar, he told her he planned to take a 40% cut, rather than the 33% share provided by their contract, and then failed to pass on about $184,000 owed her.

The final case cited by the bar, a suit against Boeing over an air crash in Indonesia, was the subject of a hearing last year in federal court. A judge in Chicago ordered Girardi held in contempt for misappropriating more than $2 million due to crash victims’ widows and orphans.

In a January voicemail message cited by bar attorneys, Girardi assured his co-counsel in the case, “I want you to know that we paid all of the people. We had to wait for releases, and we couldn’t pay until the releases came through, and so they’re all paid.” The bar called his statement “false and misleading,” noting that the money had not been paid, reports Los Angeles Times.

Last month, The State Bar of California filed an objection requesting that an independent expert examines Tom Girardi‘s ongoing health issues amid his divorce from Erika and temporary conservatorship.

According to court documents obtained by Us Weekly on Monday, March 15, state that attorneys representing the Bar believe the 81-year-old Colorado native’s conservatorship petition was “filed under highly unusual circumstances.” In February, Tom’s brother Robert Girardi was named temporary conservator of Tom’s estate and personal matters following an undisclosed medical emergency.

“Although the Petition alleges that Girardi suffers from dementia and is unable to care for himself, as recently as November 2020 — two months before the Petition was filed — Girardi was holding himself out as a legal expert and moderated a legal education panel discussion with leading trial attorneys and presented on complex litigation strategy,” the objection claims, adding that the information provided to the courts about Tom’s mental state isn’t sufficient.

The lawyer and the Pretty Mess singer have been at the center of legal controversy since announcing in November that they were splitting after 20 years of marriage. Class action firm Edelson PC accused the pair of faking their divorce to “fraudulently protect” their money, claiming they were “on the verge of financial collapse.” They were also accused of embezzling $2 million in settlement funds intended to help victims of the crash of Lion Air Flight 610 in 2018.

In December 2020, Tom’s assets were frozen as concerns about his health began to emerge. At the time, attorney Evan Jenness questioned whether his client “understands either the nature or the gravity of the current situation,” suggesting that Tom undergo a medical examination.

Last month, the State Bar of California declared that Tom was “not eligible to practice law” and stripped him of his legal license, effective March 9. Court documents later revealed that the 81-year-old was diagnosed with late-onset Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Clinical psychiatrist Dr. Nathan Lavid wrote in an affidavit filed on March 10 that Tom suffers from “moderate” delusions and is unable to attend court hearings “for the foreseeable future” as his and Jayne’s legal troubles continue, reports Us Weekly.


Photo Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times; Amy Cantrell