Jay Edelson of Edelson PC, the firm behind a recently-filed $50 million racketeering lawsuit against Thomas Girardi and Erika Jayne, is telling all about the 67-page draft he recently submitted against the once-famed attorney and his estranged The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star wife.
After naming Erika as the “frontwoman” of Thomas and his firm’s “criminal enterprise,” Jay appeared on a podcast, where he went into detail about the “Ponzi scheme” that was allegedly run behind the scenes of Thomas’ now-defunct law firm, Girardi Keese.
“They did everything you’re not allowed to do,” Jay explained on the April 5 episode of Reality Life With Kate Casey. “For example, a cardinal rule is that you’re not allowed to co-mingle plaintiffs money, your client’s money with your own money. They co-mingled all the time.
“They stole money from their clients. They stole money from co-counsel like us, they stole money from third parties. They entered into a legal fee sharing agreements with non-lawyers. They certainly exercised a type of influence over the California bar and the judiciary, which is disturbing,” he continued.
According to Jay, who is also suing Tom’s partners, including Keith Griffin and David Lira, his firm, his accountant, runners who were used, and Erika’s company, he believes Girardi Keese was running a 10-year criminal enterprise with Erika acting on their behalf.
“We think that she had a large role in those dealings,” Jay noted. “They had to project an image of wealth and success. And we believe that’s how Erika, that was one of the major roles she played. So when she was out there publicly and flaunting how much money they had, that actually helped them get more clients, it helped put third parties at bay, it, you know, fooled us too… Our view was, oh, these people are fabulously wealthy.”
As RHOBH fans may recall, Erika and Thomas were initially sued by Edelson PC in December 2020, when they were accused of stealing $2 million in settlement funds meant for the widows and orphans of plane crash victims.
“This is like a Ponzi scheme in that they were taking client money for their own purposes, and then repaying the clients in part or in whole with other client’s money. So they were always in arrears,” Jay explained, noting that Erika “lied on camera” while filming the Bravo reality series.
“Erika said that the lawsuit was meritless and that they actually are forced to apologize. And we know that she knew that wasn’t true,” he stated. “But what we allege is she wanted to keep that public face going so more clients came in the door. So more lenders would keep putting money giving money to Tom, which then all went to Tom and Erika.”
Although Jay and his team recently gained access to unseen footage from RHOBH, he wasn’t able to share details about the unaired scenes as the content is “sealed.”
“Bravo has not given us everything. And we think that they’re holding back things that are really, really important to us. But we’ve definitely learned a lot from the limited footage that we’ve seen,” he confirmed.
Also, on the podcast, Jay reacted to Thomas’ supposed mental incapabilities.
“There’s so many of these entering coincidences where someone’s about to be arrested criminally. And then they have some huge health issue. So I’m obviously skeptical that I’ve not seen the medical records,” Jay explained. “In the contempt trial that we had, he pled the fifth. Whether he really is in that facility or not, I don’t know. But we have video recordings of him being very lucid really up until the time we filed, and that’s when he immediately had Alzheimer’s supposedly, and didn’t remember anything.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 12 premieres Wednesday, May 11, at 8/7c on Bravo.