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Uh-oh, is it time for Tom Girardi to go to this room and be quiet? Erika Girardi‘s powerhouse attorney of a husband has been sued in federal court over accusations that he swindled his clients out of their share of $130 million dollars in settlement money! 

According to court documents, the Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills star’s husband and his partner Robert Finnerty, of the law firm Girardi-Keese, are accused of defrauding claimants from a settlement won against Lockheed Martin.

Former client Paul Kranich is seeking $50 million dollars after alleging that Tom misused money that was awarded to him and former co-workers after they successfully sued Lockheed for exposing employees to harmful chemicals. (Note: To my knowledge no other claimants from that class-action suit have filed suits against Tom or his firm). 

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Mr. Kranich is complaining that Tom and other attorneys from his firm “swindled” plaintiffs by not paying them the full settlement amount each was owed. Instead, Tom and co. spent money for personal and other unrelated business expenses, but misrepresented to plaintiffs where their money was going. Yikes!

In 2001, Tom and his partners represented Lockheed Martin employees in a class action suit. The plaintiffs won over $130 million dollars as a result of Girardi-Keese’s representation, yet Mr. Kranich attests that since the settlement was awarded, plaintiffs, including himself, have endured several legal issues with Tom and his firm when it came to getting their money. So Erin Brockovich didn’t show up at their house with a big fat check and a supportive smile? I kid! – Erin Brockovich dose not work for Tom anymore, had no involvement in the Lockheed case, nor is she implicated in this lawsuit. 

Mr. Kranich‘s suit contends that Tom and other attorneys knowingly conspired to commit “criminal fraud, theft, and breach of trust” and “participated in and aided and abetted a scheme to defraud their clients by charging excessive fees and costs and fraudulently converting settlement proceeds to which Plaintiff and other clients.”

In fact, while the case was litigating against Lockheed, Kranich claims he discovered Tom prematurely spent settlement funds for “improper purposes” – meaning supposedly Tom wasn’t spending the money on the case, but for personal reasons, yet purportedly lied.

Outlined in court documents. Kranich states Tom made six-figure payments to clients represented in separate cases, as well as used money for “personal and unreleased business debts.” 

Per the court papers, as reported by The Daily Mail, Tom spent:

“$250,000 to an aviation company owned by Girardi, $100,000 to a man believed to be Girardi’s divorce attorney – he has two ex wives, $350,000 to Western Bank for ‘fees’, $50 to an associate at the firm who never worked on the Lockheed case, $1 million to ‘Global Client Payments’ and allegedly more than $827,000 to ‘Lockheed Litigation’ plaintiffs – and even a $500,000 payment on a real estate escrow in which Giradi was involved and was unrelated to the Lockheed litigation.” I don’t see Erika Jayne‘s glam squad, tour bus, or see-through catsuit listed on those expense reports. LOL 

Kranich also claims Tom reportedly charged him a contingency fee of 40% of gross proceeds, despite previously agreeing to accept only one-third in fees from many of the settlements. 

Tom, an extremely well-known attorney, has represented several class-action suits of this nature, winning billions for clients. Tom and the other attorneys implicated in Mr. Kranich‘s suit have filed a motion to dismiss. A hearing is set for 5/2/16.

So, uhhhh… do we think this will be part of Erika’s storyline next season?

TELL US – DO YOU BELIEVE TOM DEFRAUDED MR. KRANICH? OR DOES MR. KRANICH HAVE NO CASE?

UPDATED: TOM’S FIRM RELEASED THE FOLLOW STATEMENT TODAY:

Los Angeles, CA – Attorney Tom Girardi and the Girardi | Keese Law Firm released the following statement today in response to sham lawsuit filed by Peter Dion-Kindem.

“Peter Dion-Kindem is a perennial litigious gadfly and a fraud. He has, for nearly a decade, made bogus claims and filed sham lawsuits against our firm. His allegations are false, baseless and defamatory.

Further, Mr. Dion-Kindem has attempted this fishing expedition numerous times before. For example, in 2008 he filed a nearly identical complaint. He failed then and he will fail now. The 2008 case was dismissed by an order of the Court as having no merit. His latest complaint is a carbon copy – and comes more than a decade past the statute of limitations.

We have filed a motion to have this bogus complaint dismissed and we feel confident Dion-Kindem’s latest attempt to besmirch Girardi | Keese will fail just as spectacularly as his last one did. We stand by and are proud of the work we do on behalf our clients.”

 

 

[Photo Credit: Bravo]