The “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Erika Jayne is forced to give up a pair of diamond earrings purchased by her ex-husband Tom Girardi after a judge ruled that the luxe item was bought from stolen funds. Even though Erika was unaware of the transaction, she is still obliged to return the said jewellery.
Tom’s Known For Misusing Clients’ Funds…
Erika Jayne has to surrender a pair of $750,000 diamond earrings from her ex-husband Tom Girardi as Judge Barry Russell noted during a hearing on Tuesday (June 28) that the “settlement funds from the trust account created for a class action handled by Thomas’ firm Girardi Keese were used to pay for the diamond earrings.”
Russell also added that while he didn’t believe the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star was aware that the gift was bought with stolen dough, she is still obligated to return them. Disgraced attorney Girardi, 83, allegedly bought the earrings in March 2007 with money from a client’s trust account and gifted them to Erika.
Not only this, Tom previously cited the purchase as costs for a case as per court documents obtained in February. Although he initially claimed that the jewellery was stolen from their home, the earrings were allegedly found in a safe. Originally named his co-defendant in the 2018 case, Jayne denied the charges against her and was eventually dismissed from the embezzlement lawsuit.
Ronald Richards, a former attorney for the trustee stated that “The ruling was a major milestone in the quest to recover stolen assets by the Girardis. It does not matter whether Erika knew they were stolen client funds or not. This ruling will be used in the future aspects of the case and is now the law of the case.”
Embezzling $2 Million in Settlement Funds…
Erika Jayne’s lawyer, Evan Borges revealed after the hearing, “Once again, Erika is facing consequences for past actions taken by Tom Girardi and Girardi Keese. Erika did nothing wrong. In fact, the judge specifically found no fault or knowledge on the part of Erika regarding the actions by Tom Girardi and his partners at the law firm. Tom Girardi the lawyer did this.”
Evans added, “Legally, the judge’s decision raises an important issue of whether the law allows revisiting transactions of 15 years ago to take away a gift received by an innocent spouse. But that’s for a higher court to decide.” Well, the decision may be appealed by Jayne but no word has come concerning the same.
The decision comes amid lingering legal issues for both, Erika and Tom. In 2020, she filed a divorce from the disgraced attorney after 21 years of marriage. A month after their divorce, the former couple was accused of embezzling $2 million in settlement funds from the families of Lion Air Flight 610 victims. Tom also allegedly mishandled money that belonged to several of his clients.
More Legal Battles To Fight…
Erika is currently facing a $50 million racketeering lawsuit and a $2.1 million “aiding and abetting” lawsuit. Regarding the lawsuit, Erika said, “I like where I’m going to end. It’s going to be fine. Even if I didn’t feel that way, I’d still tell you I felt good about it. But I really do. It’s going to be just fine.”
On the other hand, Girardi is also accused of stiffing widows and orphans who lost loved ones in 2018’s Lion Air Flight 610 crash out of their settlement funds, enjoying an extravagant lifestyle with his trophy wife.