Tom Girardi and his law firm have been accused of embezzling funds from several families who lost loved ones in a 2018 Boeing plane crash

By Gabrielle Chung
June 30, 2021 10:57 PM
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Tom Girardi
Tom Girardi
| Credit: Business Wire/Getty Images

The law firm of Erika Girardi's estranged husband, Tom Girardi, got the go-ahead for a COVID-era loan from the federal government prior to filing for bankruptcy.

Girardi Keese was approved for $1,503,000 through the Paycheck Protection Program — which was created to help keep businesses afloat during the pandemic — on April 15, 2020, according to public records.

A total of 84 employees were reported at the Los Angeles-based firm, records show.

It is unclear whether the firm actually received the loan. A spokesperson for Girardi Keese did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Tom, 82, and his law firm have been accused of embezzling funds from several families who lost loved ones in a 2018 Boeing plane crash, and the attorney was later sued by his business partners, resulting in a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in December —  just one month after Erika, 49, filed for divorce. 

Amid the bankruptcy and multiple lawsuits, Tom and Erika have also been accused of using their divorce to protect their money.

Erika Jayne, Tom Girardi
Erika and Tom Girardi
| Credit: Steve Eichner/AP

Recently, a motion filed by the bankruptcy trustee investigating Tom's assets alleged Girardi Keese transferred $20 million to Erika's various businesses, including one that the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star created after the news of the embezzlement scandal broke. 

"The Debtor has admitted in numerous filed tax documents that Erika's related companies have received over $20,000,000 according to the tax documents spanning multiple years," documents obtained by PEOPLE read. "Erika has created a new company after the news broke of this scandal which appears to simply be a successor company. Erika has multiple financial accounts and the Debtor's books show Erika owes large receivables to the Debtor."

In another motion later filed by petitioning creditors in the bankruptcy case, Erika was accused of using her companies to hide her assets and refusing to turn over documents pertaining to her finances.

"At every turn, Erika has used the glam to continue to aid and abet this sham transactions that have been occurring with respect to large transfers of assets from the [Girardi Keese] to Erika," the document read. "Moreover, the Trustee has received zero cooperation from Erika which is constant [sic] with someone hiding assets." 

RELATED VIDEO: Erika Girardi Reveals Why She Filed for Divorce from Tom - 'I Couldn't Live That Way'

Erika's legal team later responded to the motion in their own court filing, asserting that she has been cooperating with the investigation and requested the court to reconsider the special counsel to the trustee assigned to the bankruptcy case.

On Monday, the court ordered that Erika's accountant, divorce lawyer and landlord turn over the Pretty Mess author's bank statements and various financial documents to the bankruptcy trustee.

For his part, Tom has not responded to any of the lawsuits in court.