Lawyer/carnival barker Michael Avenatti was arrested in Manhattan Monday morning, on federal extortion charges.
Somewhere right now, Stormy Daniels is waiting on a phone call inviting her to roll over on this turd. But will that call come, or will Stormy be the next to be indicted?
Avenatti faces up to 107 years in prison if convicted of all charges.
Is it a coincidence that these cases were filed by the feds immediately after the Special Counsel and the Attorney General cleared President Trump in the Russiagate hoax?
Filed under: “I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise”
Lawyer Michael Avenatti was arrested in Manhattan Monday morning, on charges he attempted and conspired to extort sports apparel giant Nike out of more than $20 million.
According to the complaint in the case of Untied States of America v. Michael Avenatti filed with New York’s Southern District, the former lawyer of aging porn star Stormy Daniels threatened to drive the the company’s market capitalization down by $10 billion by announcing claims of misconduct by company employees unless a client of his was paid $1.5 million.
In other words, prosecutors say he threatened “to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial & reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met.”
That would be extortion under 18 U.S.C. § 1951, all right.
Mark Geragos — who is also Jussie Smollett’s attorney — is allegedly the unnamed co-conspirator in the Avenatti criminal complaint, The Wall Street Journal is reporting, although he has not yet been charged.
The full announcement by Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is available here.
It gets worse
Only minutes after the news broke, the Justice Department announced that other charges had been filed against Avenatti in a separate federal case is Los Angeles, California. In that case, he is accused of embezzling a client’s money “in order to pay his own expenses and debts” as well as those of his law firm and coffee company, and of “defrauding a bank in Mississippi,” according to prosecutors.
The publicity-hound lawyer had represented porn star Daniels in failed lawsuits against President Trump related to a nondisclosure agreement she signed on the eve of the 2016 presidential election to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump in exchange for the $130,000 payoff that she sought. Daniels later decided she had made a bad deal, and went public to further cash in on her alleged brief fling with Trump.
Daniels fired and replaced Avenatti earlier this month.
In a statement released on Twitter, Daniels stated, “Knowing what I know now about Michael, I’m saddened but not shocked regarding his arrest. I made the decision weeks ago to terminate Michael’s services after discovering that he had dealt with me extremely dishonestly, and I will have my own announcement coming soon.”
Piss on who
Over the past few weeks, Avenatti has trained hi beady little sites on R. Kelly with a slew of sexual abuse allegations.
Avenatti was busted by FBI agents in Manhattan this morning at the law offices of Boies Schiller Flexner, only minutes after he tweeted that he would soon be disclosing wrongdoing “perpetrated by” Nike.
“Tmrw at 11 am ET, we will be holding a press conference to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike that we have uncovered. This criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball.”
It looks like that was the trigger for the FBI takedown.
According to the criminal complaint which was attested to yesterday and filed today, Avenatti had offered to not have that press conference “only if Nike made a payment of $1.5 million to a client of Avenatti’s in possession of information damaging to Nike … and agreed to ‘retain’ Avenatti and [another person] to conduct an ‘internal investigation’ — an investigation that Nike did not request — for which Avenatti and [the other person] demanded to be paid, at a minimum, between $15 [million] and $25 million.”
The complaint adds that last Wednesday, March 20, Avenatti and a cooperating witness spoke by phone with lawyers for Nike “during which Avenatti stated, with respect to his demands for payment of millions of dollars, that if those demands were not met ‘I’ll go take ten billion dollars off your client’s market cap … I’m not f—ing around.’”
“And I’m not continuing to play games,” Avenatti added. “You guys know enough now to know you’ve got a serious problem and it’s worth more in exposure to me to just blow the lid on this thing.”
Avenatti will be taken to Manhattan federal court today on charges of conspiracy, extortion and transmitting interstate communications with intent to extort.
In the California federal case announced today, Avenatti is accused of wire fraud and bank fraud in a in a massive 197-page complaint.
In United States of America v. Michael J. Avenatti, U.S. Attorneys working with IRS-CI (Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation) accuse Avenatti of negotiating a $1.6 million settlement for a client in a civil case, only to provide the client “a bogus settlement agreement with a false payment date.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles said “Avenatti misappropriated his client’s settlement money and used it to pay expenses for his coffee business, Global Baristas US LLC, which operated Tully’s Coffee stores in California and Washington state, as well as for his own expenses.”
“When the fake March 2018 deadline passed and the client asked where the money was, Avenatti continued to conceal that the payment had already been received, court documents said,” according to prosecutors.
“A lawyer has a basic duty not to steal from his client,” said U.S. Attorney for Los Angeles Nick Hanna.
Hanna’s office also claimed that Avenatti defrauded a bank in Biloxi, Mississippi by submitting to that bank phony tax returns in order to get three loans totaling $4.1 million for his law firm and coffee business in 2014.
The tax returns indicated that he had “substantial income even though he had never filed any such returns with the Internal Revenue Service,” the prosecutor’s office said. “The phony returns stated that he earned $4,562,881 in adjusted gross income in 2011, $5,423,099 in 2012, and $4,082,803 in 2013 … Avenatti allegedly also claimed he paid $1.6 million in estimated tax payments to the IRS in 2012 and paid $1.25 million in 2013.”
“In reality, Avenatti never filed personal income tax returns for 2011, 2012 and 2013 and did not make any estimated tax payments in 2012 and 2013,” Hanna’s office said.
“Instead of the millions of dollars he claimed to have paid in taxes, Avenatti still owed the IRS $850,438 in unpaid personal income tax plus interest and penalties for the tax years 2009 and 2010. Avenatti also submitted a fictitious partnership tax return for his law firm.”
President Trump greeted Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu at the White House today, and has not yet commented on Avenatti’s arrest.
The celebrity lawyer faces up to 107 years in prison over these federal charges: 47 years over the allegations made by New York authorities, and a maximum of 60 years in prison on the charges brought against him this weekend in California.
Here is the New York criminal complaint and request for an arrest warrant for Avenatti: