Lawsuit Alleges Erika Girardi Conspired with American Express and Secret Service to Destroy Hollywood Costumer
– Erika Girardi, also known as Erika Jayne, is accused in a lawsuit of falsely accusing a Hollywood costumer of wire fraud.
– The lawsuit claims that Girardi conspired with American Express and the Secret Service to maliciously prosecute the costumer and destroy his business.
In a Tuesday lawsuit filed in Los Angeles federal court, Erika Girardi, wife of disbarred and indicted lawyer Thomas Girardi, is accused along with American Express and the Secret Service of conspiring to destroy a Hollywood costumer by falsely claiming he committed wire fraud. The lawsuit alleges that Girardi falsely accused Christopher Psaila of fraudulently charging $800,000 to $900,000 for costumes at his business. The authorized charges on an American Express card issued to Girardi became an issue after November or December 2016, at a time when her husband and his law firm were facing financial difficulties. The lawsuit claims that Girardi and AmEx falsely told the Secret Service that the transactions were unauthorized. The suit seeks at least $18.2 million in damages and names several individuals involved in the alleged conspiracy.
AmEx has denied the allegations, stating that they followed their regular processes and procedures throughout the investigation. They claim that they did not initiate the investigation or proactively contact law enforcement, and they only responded to inquiries from law enforcement. Erika Girardi’s attorney has not responded to requests for comment, while the Secret Service declined to comment on the pending litigation.
The lawsuit is part of a larger legal battle involving Girardi Keese, the law firm owned by Thomas Girardi and forced into bankruptcy in December 2020. The bankruptcy trustee sued Erika Girardi and American Express to recover allegedly fraudulent fund transfers from the firm to Girardi’s spouse and the card company. Thomas Girardi is currently defending federal fraud charges in Chicago and Los Angeles.