Onetime high-flying lawyer Girardi indicted on client theft

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Disbarred and disgraced Los Angeles movie star lawyer Tom Girardi has been indicted in Chicago on expenses of stealing $3 million from purchasers who misplaced relations within the 2018 Lion Air crash.

The costs mark the newest in a string of authorized disasters for a robust participant who rubbed elbows with politicians and celebrities as one of many nation’s most distinguished plaintiff’s attorneys, recognized for profitable settlements such because the one portrayed within the film “Erin Brockovich.”

U.S. prosecutors say Girardi, one other lawyer and his agency’s accounting chief misappropriated settlement funds supposed for 5 purchasers who reached settlements with Boeing, makers of the 737 Max operated by Indonesia’s Lion Air that crashed into the Java Sea on Oct. 29, 2018 — killing 189 folks.

“The substantial misappropriation alleged on this indictment compounded the grief and anguish of the purchasers who misplaced family members within the Lion Air crash,” stated John Lausch, the U.S. legal professional for the northern district of Illinois. “Attorneys who violate the belief of their purchasers and breach a fiduciary responsibility that’s paramount to the observe of regulation should be held accountable.”

Girardi, who as soon as performed a supporting function on “Actual Housewives of Beverly Hills,” which starred his now ex-wife Erika Jayne, was disbarred final summer season for siphoning funds supposed for purchasers. His agency Girardi Keese is bankrupt and he is stated to be affected by dementia, based on a court docket conservatorship.

A Chicago regulation agency filed a racketeering lawsuit final yr alleging that Girardi and his associates basically ran a Ponzi scheme, siphoning off $100 million from their purchasers, attorneys they labored with and others.

See also  Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said 'like a lot of people' she had 'easily gotten sucked into some things I had seen on the internet' in regards to QAnon conspiracy theories

“The actual story is one which looks as if a story out of a John Grisham novel: Girardi Keese was little greater than a felony enterprise, disguised as a regulation agency,” based on the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles by Edelson, the Chicago regulation agency. “Certainly, the Girardi Keese agency operated what we now know was the most important felony racketeering enterprise within the historical past of plaintiffs’ regulation.”

Girardi and one other legal professional, David Lira, face eight expenses of wire fraud and 4 counts of felony contempt of court docket, Lausch’s workplace stated in an announcement.

The regulation agency’s head of accounting and finance, Christopher Kamon, faces the identical expenses.

Arraignments in federal court docket haven’t been scheduled but.

On-line court docket data don’t point out whether or not Girardi or the opposite two males have attorneys within the case.


Foody reported from Chicago.