Alleged Misuse of Federal Power
The lawsuit, lodged by Psaila, raises grave concerns about the alleged misuse of federal powers for personal gain. Central to the complaint is the claim that Tom Girardi leveraged his close relationship with the head of the Secret Service’s office in Los Angeles, Rob Savage, to benefit himself and his wife, Erika Girardi.
Weaponization of Secret Service
Psaila’s lawsuit alleges that the Girardis “weaponized the Secret Service to maliciously prosecute” him in a bid to secure a sizable refund from American Express. This, according to the suit, came at a time when the Girardi family was facing severe financial difficulties.
Accusations Against Erika Girardi and American Express
The suit further alleges that Erika Girardi and her team knowingly purchased costumes and services from Marco Marco, but later fraudulently reported the store’s charges to her credit card as unauthorized. Psaila’s lawsuit contends that this misrepresentation was made to federal agents and to American Express.
Reckless Investigation by Secret Service
Psaila’s suit also criticizes the Secret Service’s investigation into Erika Girardi’s claims, arguing that the agency "deliberately ignored" facts that could have exonerated him. He alleges that both current and former Secret Service agents concealed evidence that could have either prevented his indictment or led to an acquittal at trial.
Implications for Secret Service Officials
The suit has implications for three current or former Secret Service officials, who are named as defendants. Among them is Rob Savage, whose relationship with Tom Girardi is characterized in the lawsuit as a “bribe and quid pro quo” arrangement.
Responses to the Lawsuit
Reactions to the lawsuit have been varied. While a spokesperson for the Secret Service declined to comment due to the pending litigation, an attorney representing Erika Girardi dismissed the lawsuit as a tactically timed manoeuvre. On the other hand, Psaila maintains his innocence and asserts that the charges on the Girardis’ American Express card were legitimate.
In response to these allegations, the lawsuit seeks $18.2 million in general damages, along with unspecified punitive damages. Additionally, Psaila filed a separate claim against the Secret Service, demanding $75 million.