“Celebrity attorney” and carnival barker Michael Avenatti has been slammed with a new 36-count indictment by a federal grand jury in California that accuses him of embezzling clients— including a mentally ill paraplegic — for millions of dollars, shorting the IRS of millions more, swiping millions of dollars in employment taxes from his coffee company — and perjury. He could face a sentence of 335 years in prison if convicted.
The indictment comes more than two weeks after federal prosecutors in Los Angeles and New York hit the 48-year-old Avenatti with separate criminal complaints.
And it comes more than a year after the hyper-aggressive litigator first gained widespread notoriety for his disastarous representation of aging porn star Stormy Daniels in her legal tussles with President Donald Trump.
It’s important to note that Avenatti is accused of committing these acts while acting as an attorney — robbing a client is the gold standard of things an attorney should never do.
The indictment filed Monday in U.S. District Court in California accusing Avenatti of fraud, embezzlement and more is lengthy — but here are the first fifteen pages.
U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna of Los Angeles said that Avenatti’s allegedly criminal conduct spanned four distinct areas, which “are all linked to one another because money generated from one set of crimes appears in other sets – typically in the form of payments to lull victims and to prevent Mr. Avenatti’s financial house of cards from collapsing.”
Ryan Korner, head of IRS criminal tax probes in Los Angeles, said that the money stolen by Avenatti through “a tangled financial web of lies” was “used to fund a lavish lifestyle which had no limits.”
Korner said that IRS investigators started investigating Avenatti more than a year ago, but also said that Avenatti “began to run afoul of the IRS almost a decade ago” by failing to file income tax returns.
Famed attorney Michael Avenatti withdraws from Julian Assange defence team, citing need to spend more time with his ankle monitor. pic.twitter.com/X6SfggVa1X
— DPRK News Service (@DPRK_News) April 11, 2019