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Tom Girardi, Lawyer and Former ‘Real Housewives’ Husband, Charged With Swindling $15 Million

The disgraced and disbarred attorney is slated for federal arraignment Feb. 6

Tom Girardi, the famed Los Angles lawyer and ex-spouse of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Erika Jayne, has been indicted for allegedly embezzling $15 million from his clients, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

Girardi, whose once-esteemed downtown Los Angeles law firm, Girardi Keese, shuttered after the discovery that he had misappropriated over $13 million in settlements, was charged with five counts of wire fraud, a charge that carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, according to a DOJ press release.

Wednesday’s charges also indicted Christopher Kazuo Kamon, Girardi Keese’s former CFO, alongside Girardi, alleging the pair fraudulently obtained more than $15 million that belonged to their clients. Kamon, who oversaw the firm’s financial affairs, remains in federal custody after his November 2022 arrest.

“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,” United States Attorney Martin Estrada said. “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.” 

“Mr. Girardi and Mr. Kamon allegedly created a mirage over several years in order to disguise the fact that they were robbing Girardi Keese clients of large sums of money” said Amir Ehsaei, the Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “The defendants exploited the hardships endured by their clients and took advantage of their unfamiliarity with the legal process while they denied victims what was rightfully due to them in order to fund their lavish lifestyles.” 

After his law firm filed for bankruptcy in December 2020, Girardi was disbarred by The State Bar of California in July 2022.

“Thomas Vincent Girardi should have been a pillar to our community. Instead, he is accused of creating an elaborate scheme to mislead his clients, victimizing them for a second time,” Special Agent in Charge Tyler Hatcher said. “Attorneys are put in a position of trust when they represent us during some of our most difficult times. Mistrust in the legal profession grows when clients can’t trust their attorneys to pay them the settlements intended to make them whole. IRS Criminal Investigation, along with federal prosecutors and our law enforcement partners, will continue to seek to keep the legal profession honest.”

Girardi, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and is under a court-ordered conservatorship, currently resides in a 24-hour care facility. He is slated for arraignment Feb. 6 at the United States District Court.