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Federal Judge Allows Embattled Attorney to Live in Pasadena Mansion While Trustee Moves to Sell It

Published on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 | 4:21 pm

Attorney Tom Girardi was allowed by a federal judge to stay in his Pasadena mansion as the Chapter 7 trustee overseeing his estate moves to sell it, Reuters Legal reported.

The deal struck between Girardi’s brother Robert Girardi, who is serving as temporary conservator, and trustee Jason Rund was “fairly straightforward,” said U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Barry Russell during a hearing Tuesday.

The judge at one point during the proceedings questioned whether Girardi’s wife, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star and singer Erika Jayne, was aware of the bankruptcy proceedings. He also questioned what would happen to the mansion’s contents.

Both Tom Girardi and his law firm Girardi Keese were placed into bankruptcy after Edelson PC, a Chicago-based plaintiffs firm, accused them of mishandling $2 million in settlement money that was supposed to go to victims of the Lion Air Flight 610 crash.

Girardi and his firm’s assets were frozen by a Chicago federal judge late last year. A group of Girardi’s former business associates claimed the firm owed millions of dollars and forced the attorney and his firm into involuntary bankruptcy.

Girardi’s attorneys have asserted since December that he is suffering from mental decline and incapable of addressing his mounting financial and legal concerns. In a Jan. 13 filing, Robert Girardi said his brother was unable to understand what was happening to him and his firm.

The deal struck Tuesday, Reuters Legal reported, will give Tom Girardi 20 days to vacate the mansion once it is in escrow. The mansion has become too expensive for the plaintiff’s attorney to maintain, according to Leonard Pena, an attorney at Pena & Soma who is representing Robert Girardi.

“There’s no way the debtor can service the mortgage on this property,” Pena said during Tuesday’s hearing. “He plans on moving, but obviously we didn’t want it to happen overnight.”

The mansion, reportedly worth $15 million, is 10,277 square feet and has four bedrooms and six full bathrooms, Reuters Legal reported from online real estate listings

Yoo said he sent emails to Mastan saying the couple’s communal property in the mansion now belongs to the trustee.

Mastan, Pena and Yoo did not respond to requests for comment by Reuters.

As part of the deal, Tom Girardi and his brother must keep the mansion “neat and tidy” and the utilities are paid. It also prohibits any communications with potential buyers.

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