Class action lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges RHOBH star Erika Jayne, 49, and her lawyer husband Tom Girardi, 81, of embezzled settlement funds meant for Girardi’s clients
Lawsuit filed in Illinois by Law firm Edelson PC, accuses Girardi of embezzling money intended for his clients to fuel his and his wife’s opulent lifestyle because ‘they’re going broke’
Girardi the plaintiffs allege, misappropriated money meant for family members of victims aboard Lion Air Flight 610, which crashed into the Java Sea in 2018
While his firm was facing a financial meltdown, he ‘prevented a significant portion of that money, and potentially all of it, from ever reaching the victims of the horrific crash,’ the lawsuit claims
Instead he allegedly, transferred portions of the settlement sum to his wife [Jayne’s] company, his law partner, as well as, other lenders and creditors
Last month, the couple who’d quarantining together in LA, announced the end of their marriage of 21 years
The lawsuit claims that the couple’s divorce is a sham ‘to fraudulently protect Tom’s and Erika’s money’ from debt collectors
Lawsuit cites their extravagant lifestyle including Jayne boasting about paying $40,000 a month for her ‘glam’ make-up team and showcasing her $250,000 Lamborghini
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne and her high-profile lawyer husband, Tom Girardi, have been accused of embezzling millions of dollars meant for families who lost loved ones in the 2018 Lion Air plane crash and their divorce is a ‘sham’ to protect their money, a new lawsuit claims.
A class action lawsuit filed by Edelson PC on Wednesday in Illinois alleges the glamor couple embezzled money meant for his law firm’s clients because he’s ‘on the verge of financial collapse’ and needed to finance their lavish lifestyle.
It further claims that last month’s announcement that Jayne, 49, filed for divorce from Girardi, 81, after 21 years of marriage is an act staged to protect their money from debt collectors.
‘At the heart of this deception is Defendant [Tom] Girardi and his need to fund outrageous lifestyles for himself and his soon-to-be ex-wife, Erika Jayne,’ the complaint says.
The complaint says Girardi allegedly embezzled proceeds of the settlements meant for the Illinois-based family members of victims who died in the tragic Lion Air Flight 610 airplane crash for his own personal enjoyment.
The flight went down into the Java Sea shortly after taking off on October 29, 2018, killing all 189 passengers and crew on board.
The crash was another in a series of airline crashes attributed to a design flaw in the automated flight control system on the Boeing 737 Max Series. Subsequently all Boeing 737 Max in service were grounded, worldwide.
The settlement was meant to help family members, many of whom were left widowed or orphaned, after the crash.
‘Tom and Erika have reached celebrity status in the glitz-and-glam world of Hollywood and Beverly Hills…To keep up their celebrity status, Tom and Erika must project a public image of obscene wealth at all times, and at whatever the cost,’ the lawsuit states, adding that Girardi and his law firm Girardi Keese ‘are on the verge of financial collapse and locked in a downward spiral of mounting debts and dwindling funds’.
The law firm allegedly, owe tens of millions of dollars to clients, co-counsel, and others.
The suit alleges that due to the financial turmoil Girardi resorted to embezzling money intended for his clients.
The suit goes further to claim that Jayne filing for divorce is a sham to protect the money they have left.
‘While Erika publicly filed for divorce this month, on information and belief, that “divorce” is simply a sham attempt to fraudulently protect Tom’s and Erika’s money from those that seek to collect on debts owed by Tom and his law firm GK,’ the complaint says.
‘Tom and Erika have reached celebrity status in the glitz-and-glam world of Hollywood and Beverly Hills…To keep up their celebrity status, Tom and Erika must project a public image of obscene wealth at all times, and at whatever the cost,’ the complaint states.
The lawsuit cited examples of Erika’s excessive spending, mentioning how she boasted in 2018 that she spends $40,000 a month her glamorous make-up.
The slew of allegations in the lawsuit also highlight a lyric from Jayne’s 2017 hip-hop song ‘Exxpen$ive’ which features the phrase, ‘it’s expensive to be me.’
Defendant Tom Girardi is the sole equity shareholder of his law firm.
The lawsuit alleges Girardi’s law firm has sent ‘tens of millions in “loans”‘ to his wife Erika’s company EJ Global.
‘This would not be the first attempt by Tom to hide and divert assets,’ according to the complaint.
‘On information and belief, Tom has embezzled and redirected the funds that were due the Lion Air clients [and of lesser importance, Plaintiff Edelson], to his family members, friends, and his and GK’s lenders and other creditors,’ the complaint said.
The suit further claims that Jayne, Girardi, his former law partner David Lira, as well as, current legal partner Keith Griffin, and a slew of other lenders and creditors have ‘knowingly demanded and received embezzled funds belonging to the Lion Air clients and Plaintiff Edelson, despite all the while knowing that those funds belong to the Lion Air clients represented by Defendant GK and Plaintiff Edelson PC (itself counsel of record in the Lion Air litigation).’
The suit says that following the plane crash, settlements for the victims’ families were transferred from Boeing to Girardi’s law firm but the defendants ‘prevented a significant portion of that money, and potentially all of it, from ever reaching the victims of the horrific crash.’
As a result, the victims’ family members have been left with ‘little, if anything.’
Erika Jayne’s extravagant lifestyle is well documented on the reality show Real Housewives of Beverly Hills [RHOBH.
The lawsuit cited examples of Jayne’s over the top life style and spending habits, mentioning how she boasted in 2018 that she spends $40,000 a month on her glamorous make-up.
The pair who last month announced their divorce after 21 years of marriage, had been quarantining together in LA
Erika Jayne, a one time cocktail waitress and top drawer Los Angeles attorney, Tom Girardi, 33 years her senior, were married in 1999. The pair met while Erika was serving cocktails at Chasen’s in West Hollywood, where Tom was a frequent patron.
In her 2018 memoir Erika wrote, ‘After a year of working in the restaurant, one night I decided to slip Tom my telephone number’.
The embezzlement lawsuit highlights a lyric from Erika’s 2017 hip-hop song ‘Exxpen$ive’ which features the phrase, ‘it’s expensive to be me.’
The complaint says the couple flaunt their wealth through giving each other luxury gifts such as a $5,000 toilet. Erika also drives a $250,000 Lamborghini.
The complainants lawyers, Edelson PC, asked the court to conduct a complete a ‘full and complete accounting of all funds transferred from Boeing that were intended for any GK client’ and demands a trial by jury.