American Greed

Lawyers, lies and a housewife: American Greed goes inside the story of Tom Girardi

Investigative Reporter Brandon Lowrey On Tom Girardi
Investigative Reporter Brandon Lowrey On Tom Girardi

Personal injury attorney Tom Girardi is a legal legend and courtroom shark. He says he's a champion for the little guy, winning hundreds of millions in settlements for widows, orphans and scores of vulnerable victims. He was known, among other things, for his involvement in the famous Erin Brockovich case.

But jilted clients and co-counsel cried foul when they discovered that he was allegedly stiffing them millions in settlement money. Today, Girardi is facing hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits alleging fraud, and his famous namesake law firm has gone bankrupt.

The disgraced and recently disbarred Girardi faces potential criminal charges. He has been indicted by federal grand juries in two states on fraud charges for allegedly swindling more than $18 million from clients.

He is also in the middle of a divorce from his third wife, singer Erika Jayne, who appeared on Bravo's "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."

Jayne's lawyer, Evan C. Borges, of Greenberg Gross, provided the following statement to CNBC in response to this episode:

"Erika is not a lawyer and she never worked at Girardi Keese where the wrongdoing involving clients occurred. She had no knowledge of and did not participate in any misconduct — period. Also, Erika had no control over Tom Girardi's firm or finances. Erika turned over her earnings to her husband and his law firm, who handled all finances along with outside accountants."

Disclosure: Bravo and CNBC share a parent company, NBC Universal.