- Christopher Kamon, the former CFO of the now bankrupt law firm of Girardi & Keese, was arrested on Saturday and charged with wire fraud, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
- Kamon committed the wire fraud in September 2020, according to the complaint, when he was still working at the firm.
- In July, Kamon was sued along with a number of other named defendants alleging the law firm was a “rackateering enterprise” that had stolen more than $100 million from its clients, according to the complaint filed July 7 with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The other defendants included Erika Jayne, the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star, and estranged wife of Girardi & Keese co-founder Tom Girardi,.
Kamon’s arrest is the latest in a slew of mounting headaches for the firm. Girardi and Keese was placed in Chapter 7 bankruptcy by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Barry Russell after a group of creditors who said they were allegedly owed millions of dollars by Tom Girardi and his firm filed involuntary bankruptcy petitions, according to a Jan. 14. 2021 Reuters report.
Kamon, the firm’s former finance chief, began working at Girardi & Keese as an accounts payable clerk in 2000 and worked his way up to CFO, according to a Tuesday Los Angeles Times report. In his role, Kamon worked directly with Girardi and had authority to wire money from firm accounts and sign checks to clients.
Chicago-based law firm Edelson PC, which filed the July complaint, asserts it is the assignee of “bereaved families” whose settlement monies were stolen.
The suit alleges that, as the firm’s accountant, Kamon was responsible for “disappearing” the client’s money out of the firm’s trust account and using the money to make payroll and pay off such items as an American Express bill for more than $14 million in exorbitant luxury items, food, and services, the document said.
“When the curtain was finally pulled back, it became clear that Girardi Keese operated in a manner similar to a Ponzi scheme, but much worse. The clients whose money the firm stole didn’t just ‘invest’ their cases with the firm; they trusted them,” the July complaint asserts.
The affidavit outlining the case against Kamon and his arrest remains under seal.
Kamon’s attorney did not respond to request for comment.