Embezzlement Suit Against Erika Girardi Dismissed in Illinois, Will Be Refiled in California

“No chance we are letting [Erika Girardi] off the hook,” the plaintiff’s lawyer, Jay Edelson, wrote on Twitter

Erika Girardi will now face her fraud and embezzlement lawsuit in her home state of California after the case against her was dismissed in Illinois.

Law firm Edelson PC first filed the lawsuit against the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star and her estranged husband Tom in an Illinois federal court in December 2020, on behalf of several families who lost loved ones in a 2018 Boeing plane crash.

The documents detailed how Tom, 82, and Erika, 50, allegedly embezzled settlement funds meant to help the families of victims on Lion Air Flight 610. The suit also claimed that Erika and Tom were using their divorce, announced the month prior, to "hide and divert assets."

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On Saturday, a new court filing obtained by PEOPLE dismissed the claims against Erika "without prejudice," meaning the plaintiff, Edelson PC, can refile.

Later that day, the firm's founder and CEO, Jay Edelson, clarified on Twitter that the case was dismissed in Illinois so they can refile in California.

Erika Girardi
Erika Girardi. Amy Sussman/Getty

"The suit is being refiled in California (to avoid fights over jurisdiction)," he wrote. "No chance we are letting @erikajayne off the hook, especially given the evidence we have found. All money will go fully to the victims until they are made whole."

"No way are we letting this go," he added in a second tweet. He said they are "exploring settlement" and reiterated that "every dollar will go to the victims."

In a statement to PEOPLE, Edelson added that his team has recently received information as well as unaired footage from Bravo regarding Erika. Once they review it, he said, they will add any new evidence to the complaint and file it in California.

"That should happen over the next few weeks," Edelson said. "We are very much looking forward to presenting the full facts of Erika's relationship to Tom's Ponzi scheme, including how much money she made off the backs of the widows and orphans of the Lion Air crash."

In his own statement shared with PEOPLE, Erika's lawyer Evan C. Borges said the dismissal is "extremely important."

"I'd like to see Edelson and everyone else take the high road going forward and not make accusations against Erika without evidence," the statement said. "We want Edelson to get the most complete picture of the evidence as possible, and have no issue with further investigation. But the truth matters. Here, the truth is that Erika had no role in the Lion Air dealings, actions, or inaction as between the attorneys and their clients, and she never received any of the Lion Air client settlement funds."

Erika Jayne, Tom Girardi
Erika and Tom Girardi. Steve Eichner/AP

The embezzlement lawsuit is just one of several legal woes Erika and Tom are currently facing.

Also in December 2020, Tom and his former law firm, Girardi Keese, were sued by his former law partner and several other business partners, leading to a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. Erika has been accused of conspiring with Tom and using her "notoriety" to hide assets as a bankruptcy trustee continues to investigate him and his firm.

The latest update to that case came last week when the trustee asked Erika to turn over a set of $750,000 diamond earrings that Tom allegedly purchased in 2007 using money from a client trust account at his firm.

Erika's legal team filed a response to the trustee's request, claiming that she had no knowledge about where the money for the earrings came from and that it is not clear whether the funds were indeed taken from a client account. The response also said the "Pretty Mess" singer will give the earrings to a third party during the proceedings.

Amid the ongoing scandals, Tom was diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer's disease and was placed under a temporary conservatorship last February, which was then made permanent months later that July. He is currently living in a "skilled nursing facility," court documents previously revealed.

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