A former Secret Service agent is accused of conspiring with a reality TV star to pursue bogus wire fraud charges against her former costume designer, the New York Post reported.
According to an $18 million lawsuit filed by costume designer Christopher Psaila last week, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Erika Jayne filed fraudulent refund requests on her American Express card, and her husband, former attorney Tom Girardi, then bribed Secret Service agent Robert Savage to criminally investigate Psaila.
Psaila alleges that Jayne worked with someone from American Express to refund over $787,000 in charges for his services without giving him a chance to contest her claims. Psaila provided the reality star between $800K and $900K in services in 2015 and 2016 and had her permission to charge her American Express, according to the lawsuit.
Tom Girardi, who is not named in the lawsuit, then allegedly bribed the former Secret Service agent by agreeing to represent him in a lawsuit against Volkswagen and paying $7,500 to compensate his damages, the lawsuit alleges.
Girardi is facing federal charges in Los Angeles and Chicago for allegedly stealing funds from clients and has been disbarred.
According to Psaila’s lawsuit, Secret Service agents gave Jayne a recording device without probable cause so she could try to get Psaila to incriminate himself on tape. Psaila insists that he admitted to no wrongdoing on the recording.
After the Secret Service pursued the case, Psaila was charged in 2017 with federal wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Psaila’s case was dismissed in 2021. But by that time, the accusations nearly destroyed his career and damaged his personal life, the lawsuit claims.
An attorney for Erika Jayne denied that she had any involvement in Psaila’s prosecution, telling NBC News that prosecutors with the US Attorney’s Office independently made the decision to charge Psaila.