Attorney Jay Edelson, one of the many who’ve taken legal action against Thomas Girardi and his estranged wife, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne, appeared on a podcast where he explained the recent indictments against Thomas and commented on the bleak outlook indicated by the IRS’ investigation into Erika finances.
While also suggesting that more indictments could be coming, the attorney shared what he believes could ultimately tie Erika to Thomas’ crimes against his former clients.
“There are two sets of indictments that have happened,” Jay explained on an episode of Reality Life With Kate Casey, stating that the focus is on the Lion Air settlement fraud in Chicago while prosecutors in Los Angeles are focusing on the “criminal enterprise” known as Girardi Keese.
At the time of Thomas’ indictments last month, his law firm’s former chief financial officer (CFO), Christopher Kamon, was also indicted, as was his son-in-law, David Lira, who previously worked at the firm.
“I think he’s in big trouble,” Jay suspected, adding that a third set of prosecutors are also involved.
“We’re expecting that there are going to be a lot of other indictments, lawyers, and other people associated with the Girardi crime family,” he said.
According to Jay, the indictments took longer than a typical civil case because they were a criminal matter.
“You really have to have all the evidence when you file, you have to be able to prove your case… I think they want to make sure that they had a really tight case,” he shared.
Jay also suspects prosecutors may have been hoping that those involved in the cases would turn on one another.
“I suspect that a lot of the people that they’ve been targeting … Question is whether they would start flipping on others in the crime syndicate. And that process takes some time as well,” he continued, giving a nod to Keith Griffin, a former Girardi Keese attorney, who has not yet been indicted.
“If there is one person who’s going to rat everybody out, it is Keith Griffin,” he revealed.
While Jay is happy to see people finally being “criminally prosecuted,” he recognizes that a lot of work will need to be done to find out whether or not Thomas is competent enough to stand trial. As RHOBH fans well know, Thomas was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in early 2021 and has been under a conservatorship ever since.
“We think that he is faking it. If you saw, like, the pictures that were taken of him going into court, you know, he looked like a 140-year-old man. What I heard from others who saw him when the cameras weren’t rolling, he was very spry and had some pep in his step,” Jay alleged. “I haven’t seen his medical records. But you know, my view is he’s a liar.
“There’s no question that he was competent as he was carrying out the Ponzi scheme,” he went on.
“I think that her criminal exposure really comes from the IRS,” he reasoned. “So she signed these joint tax returns. And you know, one thing, which is not intuitive to most people, is that if you actually steal money, you’ve got to report that as income. And if you don’t, you get into trouble, even criminally, with the IRS.”
“That’s where I think she actually could have a ton of liability. Tom was stealing 10s of millions of dollars. I’m sure he wasn’t reporting as income, she signed off on that,” he noted.
While Jay admitted that he is unsure of how much Erika knew in regard to Thomas’ misdeeds, he said he believes he’ll be able to prove she benefited from his crimes, describing the RHOBH cast member as the frontwoman of Thomas’ scheme.
“Even when he signed up the Lion Air clients, a part of the presentation was Tom’s married to Erika Jayne, and she’s this rich celebrity and that shows how successful he [was],” he revealed. “These are people in Indonesia, and what you’re saying is, this is an incredibly successful attorney. And they’re very powerful and influential. And I think it did have some effect.”
Also, during the podcast, Jay said that when it comes to Erika’s role on RHOBH, he doesn’t feel it has worked in her favor.
“The number of things that she said on the show had been so bad for her. And we’re definitely going to use that, as we’re prosecuting our civil claims. And we’re going to be able to show that she was lying to the public,” he declared. “She has a truth problem. She lies all the time. And she lied about some key things, including about the financial condition of Girardi Keese and her family, when she knew that they were out of money.”
“I can’t tell if she’s lying about them, or if she truly just isn’t getting good advice from her attorney,” he explained. “[The cases] weren’t dismissed. They’re refiled just in a different jurisdiction.”
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 13 is currently in production.