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Lawsuit Alleges Erika Jayne's Involvement in Plot to Extort Money from Popular Fashion Designer

by Samara Harris

A lawsuit has been filed against Erika Jayne, two of her assistants, current and former US Secret Service agents, and American Express by a designer, alleging a conspiracy to extort money from him. Christopher Psaila, co-owner of Hollywood costume firm Marco Marco, claims that the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star and her estranged husband, Tom Girardi, used the Secret Service to unfairly prosecute him in 2017, aiming to secure an $800,000 refund from American Express.

Image Credit: Denise Truscello / Contributor / Getty Images

Psaila contends that he had permission from Jayne, aged 52, to charge her credit card for costumes he crafted, designed, and provided for her performances. He asserts that Jayne and her assistants were aware of the costumes and services purchased from him and his store, Marco Marco. However, Psaila alleges that they falsely reported to federal agents and the credit card company that the charges were unauthorized.

In the lawsuit documents, Psaila accuses the Secret Service of conducting a "reckless investigation" into the claims made by Jayne and her team, purposely ignoring evidence that would have vindicated him. He further alleges that current and former Secret Service agents, Robert Savage, Kenneth Henderson, and Steve Scarince, concealed crucial evidence that could have resulted in an acquittal or prevented his indictment.

The lawsuit paints a picture of corruption within the federal judicial system, suggesting that Jayne and Girardi bribed Savage, the former head of the Secret Service's Los Angeles office, to initiate a criminal probe against Psaila. Savage, however, has denied any exchange of favors involving Girardi and Jayne.

Psaila also accuses American Express of not allowing him to challenge Jayne's claims that her card was charged without her consent. He asserts that AMEX refunded Jayne and Girardi approximately $787,000 and communicated to the Secret Service that the reality star was a victim of fraud. In 2017, Psaila faced indictment on charges including aggravated identity theft and wire fraud. The case against him was eventually dismissed by federal prosecutors four years later.

American Express responded to the allegations, stating that they followed standard procedures throughout the investigation and cooperated with law enforcement. They emphasized that they did not initiate the criminal investigation against Psaila.

Robert Savage, who had a connection with Girardi, declined to comment on the lawsuit, citing restrictions on discussing casework during his time with the Secret Service.

Erika Jayne's attorney, Evan C. Borges, responded to the lawsuit by asserting that the timing seems strategic to coincide with positive reviews of Jayne's Las Vegas residency opening. Borges deems Psaila's claims against Jayne baseless, highlighting that independent federal prosecutors decided to charge Psaila with crimes. He dismisses the notion that Jayne could manipulate the US government or a major corporation like American Express.

As this legal battle unfolds, it underscores the complexities and controversies that can arise within high-profile cases, involving individuals from both the entertainment industry and federal agencies. The truth behind these allegations remains to be determined through the legal process.


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