LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Tom Girardi, co-founder of the defunct Los Angeles law firm Girardi Keese, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly embezzling over $15 million in client money, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
The 83-year-old, of Seal Beach, has been charged with five counts of wire fraud, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. That carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
Girardi, who is in the process of divorce from "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Erika Jayne, has been under fire for allegedly embezzling millions of dollars from his clients while he was one of the most prominent attorneys in Los Angeles.
He was disbarred in California in July 2022. He has since been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and placed under a conservatorship.
Also named in the indictment is Christopher Kazuo Kamon, who was arrested in November 2022 on a federal criminal complaint. He remains in federal custody.
Kamon was the controller and chief financial officer of Girardi Keese from 2004 until December 2020. Federal prosecutors allege Kamon worked with Girardi to fraudulently obtain money from the firm's clients.
"Mr. Girardi and Mr. Kamon stand accused of engaging in a widespread scheme to steal from their clients and lie to them to cover up the fraud," United States Attorney Martin Estrada said in a press release. "In doing so, they allegedly preyed on the very people who trusted and relied upon them the most-their clients. Actions like the ones alleged in the indictment bring disrepute upon the legal profession and will not be tolerated by my office."
A lawsuit from 2022 claims Jayne was a frontwoman in Girardi's fraud and embezzlement scandal, but she has denied knowing about the allegations involving her estranged husband.
Some of Girardi's famous cases include representing Erin Brockovich and Brian Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan who was severely injured in a 2011 incident in the parking lot at Dodger Stadium.
Girardi is set to be arraigned on Feb. 6, although since he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, it will be up to a criminal court to determine his competency.
On Wednesday, Girardi and his son-in-law David Lira were also indicted by a federal grand jury for fraud by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago.