Tom Girardi is the latest celebrity name to surface among those who were approved for a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
According to ProPublica records, the embattled litigator’s law firm, Girardi & Keese, was approved for a $1.5 million loan on April 15, 2020.
The funds were supposed to be doled out to pay the firm’s 84 employees, Us Weekly reported, which noted that it remains unclear if the firm had ever received the loan or if it was distributed to workers as intended during the coronavirus pandemic.
The 82-year-old is currently in the midst of an intense legal battle centered on his former law firm and allegations that he and his estranged wife, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Erika Jayne, 49, embezzled millions of dollars that was supposedly intended as settlement money to family members of victims of the 2018 Lion Air crash.
In a Hulu documentary centered on the couple’s purported fraud and legal troubles, titled, “The Housewife and the Hustler,” Girardi was shown in a deposition admitting that he was broke some five months after his law firm applied for the PPP loan.
“At one point I had about $80 million or $50 million in cash,” he said in September 2020. “That’s all gone. I don’t have any money. I also had a stock portfolio of about $50 million, and that’s all gone.”
Girardi is currently in the middle of a chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
Meanwhile, one of the attorneys who filed the class-action lawsuit against Girardi for the Lion Air crash recently said they plan to “prove” Jayne was complicit in her estranged husband’s dealings, alleging she collected tens of millions of dollars from Girardi during their time as a married couple.
Jayne, who has not been formally charged with any crimes, filed to divorce Girardi in November 2020 after 21 years of marriage.
“We believe we’re going to be able to prove that Erika was incredibly involved in not just the law firm, but also, he was loaning money to her company 10s of millions of dollars to her company,” attorney Jay Edelson, who is leading the charge against the Girardis, said of the reality star on the “Reality Life with Kate Casey” podcast on June 17. “And we think that money came from client funds.”
Edelson vowed that he and his legal team are “going to look into all of that,” adding, “that’s all going to be, you know, part of proof that we showed to a jury — that she was knee-deep in this fraud, and she can say, ‘Oh, she didn’t know anything about it.’ And I think that’s going be hard for [Erika] to convince a jury of.”
In December, the couple was hit with another lawsuit for failing to pay an $882,715 judgment. The family has claimed Girardi is even suffering from memory loss due to his age.
News of Girardi’s firm being approved for the PPP loan comes on the heels of reports that former “Bachelor” stars Tayshia Adams, Colton Underwood and a number of others had also accepted loans of various amounts.
Girardi’s most famous case saw him take on Pacific Gas & Electric to the tune of $333 million dollars, which was awarded to 650 residents in Hinkley, Calif., as part of a class-action lawsuit.
That case was the inspiration behind the film “Erin Brockovich,” which saw Julia Roberts take home the Academy Award for best actress.
Girardi did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.