If Meryl Streep's scream stole the show during the season 2 premiere episode of Big Little Lies, Laura Dern yelling "I will not not be rich" wins episode 2. Renata's storyline took center stage in episode 2 thanks to the actions of her husband, Gordon (Jeffrey Nordling), who was arrested by the FBI while wearing a tracksuit that would make Armie Hammer proud. It turns out, the high-powered executive (we don't know much more about his job) was committing fraud behind Renata's back. He was not only caught, but lost all their money in the process.
Don't worry, he assures his wife as they debrief in jail, Amabella's trust is safe. But all of Renata's money — including their ranch — is wrapped up in his failed scheme because California is a community property state. What was the scheme, exactly? While I barely know how to use a credit card, I do know how to Google. Let's break down what Gordon is charged with.
1. Security fraud.
This is the practice that influences investors in the stock market to make sales based on false information.
2. Mail fraud.
This is pretty basic: mailing or transmitting something associated with fraud.
3. Wire fraud.
This is...kind of the same as mail fraud, but electronic.
In addition to those three things, he's also charged with violating section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, as well as Rule 105 of Regulation M of the Exchange Act. Both fall under the larger umbrella of the fraud listed above, but that you can feel free to dig into using the links above if you're craving the specific legal language.
What does this mean going forward? While there's certainly a legal battle ahead for the family, this opens up another problem. Renata's important possessions, including her laptop, were seized as part of the case. We don't know what, specifically, is on it, but judging by the panic in Madeline's (Reese Witherspoon) voice when she learns the news, the feds are getting dangerously close to finding information about the women's involvement in Perry Wright's (Alexander Skarsgård) death. Good going, Gordon.