The Justice Department announced the news in a press release on Wednesday, February 1. Tom, 83, was charged with five counts of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The indictment alleges that the former lawyer and his colleague Christopher Kazuo Kamon fraudulently obtained millions of dollars that belonged to Girardi Keese clients from 2010 to December 2020.
“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 the press release. “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.”
Tyler Hatcher, the special agent in charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation’s Los Angeles field office, slammed Tom for his alleged actions in a statement. “Thomas Vincent Girardi should have been a pillar to our community,” Hatcher said. “Instead, he is accused of creating an elaborate scheme to mislead his clients, victimizing them for a second time. 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.”
Tom’s legal troubles began in November 2020 when Erika, 51, filed for divorce after 21 years of marriage. One month later, the couple were accused of embezzling funds earmarked for families of plane crash victims. The Pretty Mess author was dismissed from that lawsuit in January 2022, but the estranged duo have been the target of other suits in the meantime.
Until Wednesday, however, Tom had not been charged with any crimes. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, for her part, has not been accused of any criminal offenses.
In March 2021, Tom was diagnosed with late-onset Alzheimer’s and dementia, and his brother Robert Girardi later became the conservator of his person and estate. Six months later, the former legal pro moved into a senior living facility that specializes in memory care.
Last year, Erika exclusively told Us Weekly that she was still “mourning” the end of her marriage to Tom. (The estranged duo have still not finalized their divorce.)
“I think that gets lost in the sensationalized version of it all,” she explained in May 2022. “This was someone I was married to for over 20 years and was with, like, 23 [years]. It’s difficult. There are real moments of sadness, real moments of — like when the holidays came around, you know, for Christmas, I would just remember how much fun we would have. … But what are you going to do with that? These things happen in life. They happen to everyone; everyone’s mourning something.”
During season 11 of RHOBH, the Bravo personality claimed that her ex called her frequently after their split to tell her that he loves and misses her. “I have not talked to him and I cannot talk to him,” she told her costars in an August 2021 episode. “He calls me every day. That’s another hard part of it. I had to ask my attorney to call his attorney to say, ‘Please stop calling Erika.’”