Tom Girardi Arrives at Los Angeles Courthouse After Being Indicted on Fraud Charges
Tom Girardi, the estranged husband of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Girardi, has arrived in court.
After the former attorney, 83, was indicted on fraud charges last week for allegedly stealing from the families of victims in a 2018 plane crash, Girardi was photographed Monday arriving at a courthouse in Los Angeles beside his attorneys.
According to court documents previously obtained by PEOPLE, Girardi is facing eight counts of wire fraud and four counts of criminal contempt of court by a federal grand jury in Chicago.
RELATED: Tom Girardi, Estranged Husband of RHOBH Star Erika Girardi, Indicted on Fraud Charges
Along with two other employees of his law firm Girardi Keese, he allegedly stole more than $3 million intended for relatives of victims killed in the crash of Lion Air Flight 610, the U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois, said in a press release.
David R. Lira and Christopher K. Kamon are both also charged with 12 criminal counts each. Kamon was head of the firm's accounting and finance department.
Steve Eichner/AP Erika and Tom Girardi
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Girardi and Lira represented five clients whose family members were killed in the 2018 crash. They filed lawsuits against the plane's manufacturer, Boeing Co., and settled the suits in 2020, according to the press release.
Along with Kamon, they are accused of stealing more than $3 million of settlement funds for "improper purposes, including paying the firm's payroll and operating expenses, and funding settlements to other Girardi Keese clients."
The indictment alleged they then attempted to conceal the misappropriation to their clients by blaming the delayed allocation of funds on the COVID-19 pandemic and "serious issues" with Boeing. The indictment noted that they also made false claims knowing that the law firm had already received the settlement funds.
Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Tom Girardi
Erika filed for divorce from her estranged husband in November 2020 after 21 years of marriage as the racketeering and embezzlement allegations were rising. Allegations included both a criminal and civil suit, the latter of which named Erika as well.
Erika maintains that she was unaware of Tom's alleged criminal actions in regard to the victims of the 2018 plane crash, which resulted in his disbarment by the California Federal Court. She has not been named in any federal suits.
Though a civil battle continues, it was recently concluded in one case that the plaintiffs suing Erika for "aiding and abetting" her estranged husband in alleged fraud failed to prove she had any knowledge of the alleged crimes, which Erika took as a hopeful sign.
"Two years now, down the road, we're getting some really great rulings, and I'm grateful for that," she said during the RHOBH panel in October at BravoCon 2022. "And more to go... So I'm in a much better place, and I'm grateful for that."
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Amid his legal woes and divorce from Erika, Tom was diagnosed with dementia and late-onset Alzheimer's disease in March 2021. That July, he was moved to a nursing facility with 24-hour care.
The former attorney was placed under a temporary conservatorship managed by his younger brother in February 2021, which was made permanent in July 2021.
During a May appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Erika offered an update on Tom's health, telling host Andy Cohen that his condition had not improved.
"Tom lives in a memory care facility... Look, I can only say decline and further decline, it will not get better," she said, noting that Tom still often reaches out, though their phone calls "last about five seconds."
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Cohen then asked Erika how aware Tom is of his legal troubles, to which Erika responded, "He thinks he's still practicing law."
In October, Tom was moved to a "restricted memory care unit" at an assisted living facility as his health continues to deteriorate. In court documents obtained by PEOPLE, Tom's court-appointed attorney Rudy M. A. Cosio indicated that the 83-year-old was moved to the facility "due to a further decline in his memory functions."