Escorts, kickbacks and a Tesla: New details in scandal and fraud at Tom Girardi’s law firm
The details from the latest federal indictment and guilty plea on November 14th, as well as the plea agreement, reveal a web of corruption and fraud in a series of transactions between Tom Girardi and two men now cooperating with the government. The guilty plea itself shows that Girardi and two other men — one a lawyer, one a businessman — conspired together to run a law firm that defrauded consumers.
Girardi, now 42, is a New York lawyer by training. He’s married with two young children, one of whom was born with cancer. He was the first in his family to go to college, earning his undergraduate degree at Columbia University, and he earned his law degree at Fordham University’s law school. His practice was the only law firm in the five boroughs and the country that specialized in consumer law, especially with regard to matters relating to mortgages, home financing and credit card debt, insurance claims and other types of financial claims.
In 2016, Girardi had a very public fight with the Federal Trade Commission over claims that he sold clients’ names and addresses in an alleged scheme to defraud the FTC. The FTC charged him with misrepresenting the value of his law firm’s services.
Girardi made his first big case for the FTC when he sued a former financial analyst who had alleged that Girardi had defrauded him by giving him an “estimated but misleading” opinion about his financial situation. Girardi was ordered to make himself available for a deposition and to pay the former financial analyst a little over $16,000. Girardi went to work for the new law firm of Alston & Bird in Manhattan, where he served as an associate and learned the intricacies of consumer law.
Girardi soon became a star. In the following year alone, he sued the Federal Reserve, the Secretary of State, and the American Medical Association on behalf of investors, and his firm filed numerous cases on behalf of investors in the mortgage backed securities that the SEC had ordered him to sell in the first place.
In spring of 2018, Girardi — who was still handling cases on behalf of investors in