Erika Jayne Is Found Innocent In $5 Million Fraud Lawsuit

Just because Erika Jayne has proven her innocence to date, doesn’t mean we have to like her on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I just wanted to get that out of the way since I’m pretty sure she reads the blogs, and I’m also pretty sure she’s missing that point. Okay, onto the story…

Erika had a major win in court recently. Page Six reported that she won a $5 million fraud lawsuit that was filed against her by two of Tom Girardi’s former colleagues in late 2020. Judge Richard Fruin found no evidence that Erika had participated in “any wrong doing,” according to her attorney, Evan C. Borges.

Philip R. Sheldon and Robert P. Finn had sued Erika for “aiding and abetting” Tom in his alleged crimes. They claimed that Erika knew her husband had been using their cut of settlement monies to fund The Pretty Mess lifestyle.

However, according to the court documents, Judge Fruin found that the plaintiffs failed to prove Erika had any “actual knowledge” of Tom’s alleged crimes. He cited a declaration by the plaintiffs that claimed Erika never participated in agreements between Tom and his colleagues. Erika told the court in her deposition, “Listen, they did all the books at Girardi & Keese. They were in charge of all of the ledgers … I didn’t do the invoices.”

The RHOBH villain added, “I just thought it would all be taken care of. I didn’t really ask. Like, it’s not like I was raking in millions of bucks … I didn’t know what they were doing down there.”

In the end, the allegations that Erika had knowledge that the funds were misappropriated to EJ Global LLC were not based on any “direct evidence” but rather on “inferences” about “circumstantial evidence” such as her income and expense schedule.

“The evidence is irrelevant,” the judge ruled, per the report, which also states Erika’s “lavish and extravagant hobby funded by the spouses’ community property is not evidence of the ‘actual knowledge’ any breach of fiduciary duty” between Tom and the plaintiffs.

The judge said he made his decision on the grounds that Sheldon and Finn did not prove that Erika owed them any fiduciary duty, which is the obligation a party has to act in another party’s best interest. The ruling concluded with Judge Fuin saying, “The Court finds that there is no triable issue of material fact as to Ms. Girardi having ‘actual knowledge’ of plaintiffs claims of the existence of a fiduciary duty between plaintiffs and [Girardi and Girardi & Keese].”

The plaintiff’s attorney says that he plans to appeal the finding, arguing that Tom “had a fiduciary duty to third parties who were expecting money” from a trust account. So stay tuned for that.

Meanwhile, Erika’s attorney stated, “Because it is the truth, the Court concluded that there is no evidence of any knowledge on Erika’s part of any wrongdoing by Tom Girardi or Girardi Keese, and no evidence of Erika’s participation in any wrongdoing.” He added that he and Erika are “gratified that based on a review of actual evidence by a court of law, Erika has been exonerated.”

Borges anticipates that other “aiding and abetting” lawsuits against Erika will “fail for the same reason” because they are “contrary to the truth and based on no real evidence.”

But the plaintiff’s attorney argues that “none of the other lawsuits are limited to a single count of aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty but include a much larger scope of causes of action.” He adds that this is an argument over “what constitutes actual knowledge.”

Since reports of her innocence, in this case, have come out, Erika has gone to social media to thank her followers. “Thank you to my friends that have stood beside me. All I asked for was time and understanding,” she wrote on Instagram.


[Photo Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo]