Girardi Keese’s trustee wants Erika Girardi’s lawyer to testify
Thomas Girardi’s law firm bankruptcy trustee wants his ex-wife’s divorce lawyer Erika Girardi, also known as Erika Jayne, to testify as to where the potential assets of the company, according to a petition filed by a special litigation attorney in federal bankruptcy court in California.
The petition filed with the U.S. Central District Bankruptcy Court of California asks the court to require that Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star’s family attorney, Larry A. Ginsburg of Harris Ginsburg LLP, submit to the ‘exam on July 23.
He is also asking the court to require Ginsberg to turn over documents, including financial statements, evidence of money transfers, non-privileged communications between Erika and Ginsburg, and communications between Ginsburg and Thomas Girardi or his attorney, Michael Abrams.
Trustee Elissa D. Miller hired the law firms of Ronald Richards & Associates APC to serve as special legal counsel in locating assets suspected of having been fraudulently transferred.
Erika-related companies received more than $ 20 million, according to the petition, and a special litigation lawyer “corroborated that the settlement funds had been misappropriated.”
As a special legal adviser determines that Erika has spent money that belongs to the company, the motion indicates that she will pursue a financial judgment, part of which will be used to pay attorney fees.
Erika has formed a new company, which the motion says appears to be “just a successor company,” after news of Girardi’s failure to provide millions of dollars in settlement funds to former clients.
She refused to cooperate or provide the trustee with access to the books and records of her companies and made no effort to return the structured payments for the fees paid to her in lieu of the firm, despite the communication from the lawyer, says the request.
Erika has been collecting fees for an “improper assignment” for years, he also says.
The motion accuses Erika of “publicly dissipating the assets of the community by selling her clothes on public websites” and of “displaying big jewelry on social media and on television,” alleging that she aids and encourages ” fictitious transactions ”to misappropriate company assets.
Erika’s accountant and management company will be the “next targets” in the trustee’s efforts to uncover the company’s assets, according to the motion.
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, filed a movementto step down as Erika’s counsel on June 15, declaring that the “relationship of trust and confidence” between Erika and her had “broken” and that the relationship was “beyond repair”. But the withdrawal request, filed by Peter Mastan, was itself withdrawn two days later.
Since then, another attorney for Dinsmore & Shohl, Matthew Wasserman, has filed a application to appear on his behalf.
Neither Mastan nor Wasserman immediately responded to Bloomberg Law’s request for comment on Wednesday.
The case is In re Girardi, banker. CD Cal., # 2: 20-bk-21022, Motion 6/22/21.