Remember that time, not so long ago, when it seemed like each member of Real Housewives of
Tarzana Beverly Hills had some kind of legal issue? Remember when we speculated that a whole ass storyline was created in an effort to shield the media and curious viewers from possible fraudulent activities?
Now we can revisit that special time in our lives. Just because Erika Jayne Girardi Pat the Puss is married to a high-powered attorney, doesn’t mean they were exempt from some legal battles. Both Erika and her husband, Tom Girardi, navigated separate court cases regarding, you guessed it, money. While it seemed the RHOBH cast managed to stay out of the courtroom this year, one hubby popped back on the radar. Now ‘ol Tommy is giving us some nostalgia, because he’s being sued for fraud. Again.
Tom has been served some papers that imply he has been less than honest with money. We’ve been here before with Erika’s husband and it looks like we’re about to go through it once more. According to documents obtained by The Blast, the Law Offices of Robert P. Finn have filed a suit against Tommy and his firm, Girardi & Keese. Tom is being accused of fraud, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty. Oh darling! The papers allege Tom hoodwinked the law firm after agreeing to “work together”.
In 2008 and 2009, the plaintiff’s law office entered into a written retainer agreement with over 1,500 people. Each of those people “retained the Plaintiff to represent them in connection with claims arising from personal injuries sustained from exposure to toxic chemicals emanating from several TXI cement manufacturing facilities in California.” I need a Silkwood shower just from writing that sentence.
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Robert P. Finn’s law office said they referred all clients to Tommy and his firm. Then the two firms agreed to represent the clients together and split the fees 50/50. The TXI cases were “ultimately resolved with a cash settlement, and Defendants received fees, 50% of which should have been held in trust for Plaintiff in addition to the amount owed by Plaintiff for costs. Rather than honoring their obligation under the contract to pay Plaintiff 50% of fees plus costs due Plaintiff, Defendants kept the money for themselves.” Sounds like someone didn’t split the tips.
Tom is being accused of implementing “a scheme to keep Plaintiff unaware that they had received fees from the TXI cases and prevented Plaintiff from learning that the money for fees and costs had been received by Defendants.”
So a lawyer is being questioned about hiding funds? SHOCKING. Finn’s office also implies Tom and his firm of came up with multiple justifications for their lack of re-payment. The documents state, “Plaintiff has repeatedly asked Defendants to provide an accounting of the amounts owed under the fee splitting agreement, but Defendants have refused to provide the requested accounting. Defendants unfulfilled promises of payment have caused Plaintiff to believe that Defendants have already taken the attorneys fees from the settlement amount and retained for itself the 50% of the fees and costs owed to Plaintiff.” Rut-roh Shaggy, did they forget to leave an IOU?
The papers also state Robert Finn’s firm knows the scoop and wants their coins. “Plaintiff is now informed and believes that Defendant may have misallocated and misappropriated funds by unlawfully claiming entitlement to reimbursement for purported costs that are either overstated, misstated, unlawful to claim as costs and/or that were used for the personal expenditures of Defendants, and Defendants have refused to provide any accounting that would allow Plaintiff to determine the amounts owed to Plaintiff.” That’s fancy talk for saying someone is a thief.
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Tom has yet to comment on this lawsuit, but he usually doesn’t say much. I’m sure Erika would claim she remains unbothered, while Tommy counts his fortune on his golden toilet. Totally not mismanaging funds to support
Erika’s career their lavish lifestyle. Stay tuned.
TELL US- DO YOU BELIEVE TOM ENGAGED IN FRAUDULANT ACTIVITIES? WILL ERIKA MAKE A STATEMENT? COULD TOM BE GUILTY?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]