California Attorneys Charged With Misappropriating Settlement Funds

Two California attorneys are accused of stealing more than three-million-dollars in funds intended for relatives of victims killed in a deadly plane crash.  Tom Girardi and David Lira were indicted in Chicago on charges of wire fraud and criminal contempt of court.  Prosecutors say Girardi and Lira represented five clients who were relatives of passengers killed in the 2018 crash of Lion Air Flight 610 in the Java Sea.  Their law firm filed federal lawsuits in Chicago against the plane’s manufacturer, Boeing, and settled the suits in 2020.  The defendants then misappropriated more than three-million-dollars of the settlement by using the funds for improper purposes, including paying the firm’s payroll and operating expenses, and funding other settlements.