Ronald Richards, the attorney hired to investigate the assets of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, Erika Jayne, is cranking up his investigation, after the mansion once shared by Erika and her estranged husband, Thomas Girardi, was slashed by over a million dollars.
Richards confirmed on Thursday that Erika’s lawyers had flip-flopped after asking to be removed from the bankruptcy cases against the couple and Tom’s law firm, Girardi Keese.
“Breaking news: Erika Jayne’s attorney’s have now withdrawn their motion to withdraw,” the attorney posted on Twitter on June 17. “Apparently the urgent and immediate breakdown of the attorney-client relationship has now been miraculously fixed. See attached withdrawals of the motions to withdraw.”
The reality star’s legal team cited a “fundamental and material breakdown” in their professional relationship and a lack of “trust and confidence” as the reasons behind their decision to drop Erika as a client.
Richards has launched an investigation into the claim that Tom and Girardi Keese fraudulently transferred funds to Erika, after suspecting that the disgraced lawyer moved more than $20 million to the RHOBH star’s company.
The trustee believes that Erika is in possession of “assets of the Debtor’s bankruptcy estate and/or has transferred estate assets to third parties prior to the commencement of this bankruptcy case.” The trustee said that the Bravo star claims that she “does not have any community property in possession (except for certain household items) and that what she does have were alleged gifts from” her soon-to-be ex-husband.
Reuters reports that Richards wrote— “Among the possible assets to be recovered are the millions of dollars of settlement proceeds which the debtor may have transferred to Erika.” Richards also noted that he had “already corroborated that settlement funds were diverted to Erika.”
Richards reportedly included his allegations in a new request, which asks the court to require Erika’s landlord to provide records so he can determine if the money used to secure her new Los Angeles home was “fraudulently procured” from Tom and his firm.
Richards also expressed a desire for a swift investigation because he fears that the reality star will continue to burn through the cash.
“Absent the investigation occurring rapidly, Erika may further dissipate the debtor’s assets,” he wrote.
Fans of the Bravo series know that the ex-couple’s Pasadena property was put on the market for $13 million in May and that the funds from the sale will be used to pay back Tom’s clients and creditors. Tom and his law firm were forced into bankruptcy in December after the lawyer was accused of owing tens of millions to former clients, business partners, and lenders.
The ex-couple’s 10,277 square foot California home has been reduced to $11.5 million as trustees work aggressively to sell the property.
“BREAKING: Girardi mansion listing price lowered by $1.5m to $11.5M,” Ronald Richards tweeted on June 18. “As we have repeatedly said, the property was worth no where close to the orig. estimate of $16M. This means that there will be lot less money from this asset. Trustee is pricing to sell.”
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs on Wednesdays at 8 pm, ET, on Bravo.