U.S. Attorney Alleges Crooked Attorneys, $3 Million Payment to Defrauded Clients Requested

From the U.S. Attorney:

California Attorneys Charged With Misappropriating Settlement Funds Intended for Relatives of Victims of Lion Air Flight 610

CHICAGO — Two California attorneys were indicted today on federal fraud charges for allegedly misappropriating more than $3 million in settlement funds intended for relatives of victims killed in the crash of Lion Air Flight 610.

NBC headline.

An indictment returned in U.S. District Court in Chicago charges attorneys THOMAS V. GIRARDI, 83, of Pasadena, Calif., and DAVID R. LIRA, 62, of Pasadena, Calif., both of whom worked for the California law firm Girardi Keese, with

  • eight counts of wire fraud and
  • four counts of criminal contempt of court. 

The indictment also charges a third defendant, CHRISTOPHER K. KAMON, 49, of Palos Verdes, Calif., and Encino, Calif., who worked as Girardi Keese’s head of accounting and finance, with the same offenses.  Arraignments in federal court in Chicago have not yet been scheduled.

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Corey B. Rubenstein and Emily Vermylen.

“The substantial misappropriation alleged in this indictment compounded the grief and anguish of the clients who lost loved ones in the Lion Air crash,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch. 

“Attorneys who violate the trust of their clients and breach a fiduciary duty that is paramount to the practice of law must be held accountable.” 

“The victims of this crime placed their faith in their attorneys during a time of great vulnerability,” said FBI SAC Wheeler. 

“Taking advantage of victims of tragedy is a despicable act, and we will continue to seek justice for anyone who takes advantage of innocent Americans in their hour of need.”

According to the indictment, Girardi and Lira, through Girardi Keese, represented five clients who were relatives of passengers killed in the 2018 crash in the Java Sea. 

Girardi Keese filed lawsuits in federal court in Chicago against the plane’s manufacturer, Boeing Co., and settled the suits in 2020. 

Boeing’s counsel wired the settlement funds to Girardi Keese’s trust account, with most of the money intended for the clients. 

The charges allege that Girardi, Lira, and Kamon misappropriated more than $3 million of the settlement funds by diverting the money for improper purposes, including

  • paying the firm’s payroll and operating expenses, and 
  • funding settlements to other Girardi Keese clients, whose own settlement funds had been misappropriated by the firm.

Girardi, Lira, and Kamon fraudulently attempted to conceal their misappropriation from the clients, the indictment states. 

At one point they falsely told the clients that the Covid‑19 pandemic prevented the firm from distributing the settlement funds, while at other times they falsely claimed that “serious issues” had arisen with Boeing that delayed the distributions, the indictment states. 

The defendants made the false claims knowing Girardi Keese had already received the settlement funds from Boeing, the indictment states.

The indictment seeks forfeiture from the defendants in the amount of $3,069,500.

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.  Each count of wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, while the maximum penalty for each contempt count is determined by the Court.


U.S. Attorney Alleges Crooked Attorneys, $3 Million Payment to Defrauded Clients Requested — 11 Comments

  1. Please, we’re supposed to believe that there are crooked attorneys?

    This field is as honest and trustworthy as the Vatican.

    Just as one.

  2. Are they distant relatives of Michael Avenati?

    SBK you’ll have to defer to our resident attorney Martin for comment. He’s a savant on the Brunson v Adams Case. Apparently, it’s being reheard on 2/17. Well, a smart lawyer would be in the know on that since he dances on its grave. Care to comment counselor.

  3. Feb 01 2023 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of 2/17/2023.

    I guess it’s over isn’t it now Martin. Are you a walking magic 8 ball with a law degree now? Is Brunson v Adams still over? That was your point sport.

  4. Q has a three year delta on that date 2/17 which reads
    To be blunt….

    Why are there FOUR dots? If FOUR judges decide to hear the case then the whole court has to take it. That’s the rules.

    But you know if the case is rejected then people will say “see Q told you game over”

    People can kinda read what they want into Q drops and they can make excuses when things don’t happen the way they wanted.

    idk what Martin or JT think about that subject. Are you guys into all that Q decoding stuff???

    Does anybody have intel on Brunson? What’s his deal? Schizo? Deep state? Patriot? Grifter? What’s the deal??? Raland Brunson is the plaintiff name yeah? Relationship to Loy Brunson a former U.S. Senate candidate? Maybe I go down rabbit hole. I always hear people talking about Brunson bros like there’s more than 1 idk maybe it’s a common name in Utah there are a lot of Mormons there.

  5. Yes, Brunson is over, toast, burned toast scraped and re-burned and left out for the sparrows done.

    It was over when he wrote the caption and initial paragraphs, over the day he filed it.

    His complaint is badly written nonsense based on fantasy rather than law.

    Whether he is daffy enough to believe what he wrote, or did it as performance art to attract loons, I have no idea.

    As a friend once pointed out, it is better to let nuts vent in court than vent with guns.

  6. First, for anyone who wants to follow what’s happening in Brunson v. Adams, here’s the link to the actual Docket entries (Martin posted the wrong link):


    Second, both JT and Martin are incorrect.

    Yes, the Petition for Rehearing has been docketed for conference, but it has even LESS chance of being granted than the original Petition.

    This time a MAJORITY of the Justices have to agree to rehear this, not merely FOUR of them (as with the original Petition).

    Finally, this Petition actually VIOLATES the rule for such petitions, since it simply regurgitates what was said the first time.

    Rehearing will only be granted for NEW matters that couldn’t have been raised before.

  7. Thomas Girardi is a major Democrat donor.

    He hosted a fundraiser for Biden.

    His ex-wife is on one of those stupid Real Housewife shows.

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