Disgraced Lawyer Tom Girardi Deemed Competent in $15 Million Embezzlement Case
Los Angeles, California: The disgraced attorney, Tom Girardi has been deemed competent to face trial in relation to allegations that he embezzled over $15 million from his clients.
A notification of the brief order was filed under secrecy by a federal judge on Tuesday. Five days were allotted to the attorneys on both sides to list any material in it that they wanted the judge to keep private.
Erika Jayne, star of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” and Girardi, 84, are estranged husband and wife.
Last year, Girardi entered a not-guilty plea to wire fraud charges in Los Angeles, pleading not guilty to embezzling money from clients such as an Arizona widow whose husband perished in a boat accident, a Los Angeles couple hurt in a car accident that left their son paralyzed, and a man who suffered severe burns in the 2010 San Bruno gas pipeline explosion.
The competence hearing concerned Girardi’s ability to assist in his own defense and comprehend the charges and processes against him. His attorneys contended that because he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which has left him disoriented and memory impaired, he is unfit to participate in the trial. Girardi, according to the prosecution, was puffing up his symptoms.
One of the most well-known plaintiff’s lawyers in the country, Girardi challenged major motion picture studios, companies, and Pacific Gas and Electric in a lawsuit that resulted in a $333 million settlement and was included in the 2000 Julia Roberts film “Erin Brockovich.” But his legal enterprise failed, he was forbidden from practicing law in California in 2022 due to thefts from clients, and his legal issues are just getting worse.
In Chicago, Girardi is charged with federal wire fraud after allegedly stealing $3 million from relatives of those who perished in a 2018 Lion Air tragedy that claimed 189 lives. Expectedly, the Chicago court will adhere to the California competency ruling. He will face a lengthy imprisonment in the federal prison if found guilty and subsequently convicted.