Former CFO of Girardi Keese is arrested for alleged $10M 'side fraud' scheme
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Updated: The former chief financial officer of bankrupt Los Angeles law firm Girardi Keese has been arrested on a federal charge of wire fraud.
Christopher Kamon, 49, was being held in Baltimore after a federal criminal complaint originating in Los Angeles was filed against him in Baltimore federal court Nov. 7. An affidavit supporting the complaint remained sealed.
Prosecutors alleged in court Nov. 10 that Kamon ran a $10 million “side fraud” scheme, Law360 reports.
The complaint alleged that Kamon violated the federal wire-fraud law around the date of Sept. 16, 2020. About two months after that date, a federal judge in Illinois froze the assets of Girardi Keese in response to a lawsuit alleging that name partner Tom Girardi embezzled money to support his celebrity lifestyle.
Girardi is married to Erika Jayne of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reality TV show.
News coverage indicated that Kamon has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and is not an attorney. He started working at Girardi Keese around 2000 as an accounts payable clerk and became the CFO in 2012.
While at Girardi Keese, Kamon “amassed real estate worth $5 million or more,” Law360 previously reported.
In court Thursday, prosecutors said Kamon fled to the Bahamas in September, where he owned a $2 million home. He returned Thursday and was arrested at Baltimore’s international airport.
Kamon’s lawyer, Jessie Liu of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, said Kamon had returned to Maryland to handle a family matter and was not a flight risk.
A federal magistrate judge sided with prosecutors and said Kamon should remain jailed.
Kamon had invoked the Fifth Amendment in at least two court proceedings—in the Illinois case and in the firm’s bankruptcy, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Girardi is in a court-ordered conservatorship following an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis last year.
Updated Nov. 10 at 2:45 p.m. to add information on the Nov. 10 court hearing.