Michael Avenatti Charged With Bank, Tax Fraud in Grand Jury Indictment

by Garry Watts April 12, 2019, 1:57
Michael Avenatti Charged With Bank, Tax Fraud in Grand Jury Indictment

An indictment filed against Avenatti, Wednesday, April 10, alleges he stole millions of dollars from clients, didn't pay his taxes, committed bank fraud and lied in bankruptcy proceedings.

Avenatti tweeted Thursday that he intends to fight all of the charges and says he looks forward to the truth being known, as opposed to what he characterizes as a "one-sided version".

In New York, Avenatti faces two counts of extortion for his alleged role in what prosecutors called "an old-fashioned shakedown" of Nike.

Federal prosecutors say attorney Michael Avenatti has been charged in a 36-count federal indictment in Southern California.

Avenatti shot to overnight fame previous year as the counsel for Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who claims to have had sexual relations with President Donald Trump, and his bulldog approach to taking on the president and his legal team helped garner him endless spots on cable TV news shows.

But the charges handed down Thursday are only part of Avenatti's troubles.

Among the allegations made by the Internal Revenue Service and federal prosecutors in Los Angeles on Thursday are charges that he withheld a $4 million settlement from a paraplegic man and used it to help fund his own lavish lifestyle and to prop up his coffee business and racing team.

According to details obtained by the Los Angeles Times, prosecutors are expected to announce that Avenatti stole "millions of dollars from five clients and used a tangled web of shell companies and bank accounts to cover up the theft".

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"Money generated from one set of crimes was used to further other crimes, typically in the form of payments created to string along victims, so as to prevent Mr. Avenatti's financial house of cards from collapsing", Hanna said.

Hanna also said Avenatti submitted "clearly fake" income tax form to receive a loan.

Avenatti waived his right to a preliminary hearing in federal court in Santa Ana.

Avenatti has denied any wrongdoing, taking to Twitter to assert his innocence.

"Avenatti concealed the receipt of the settlement from Client 1 and instead gave him periodic "advances" of no more than $1,900 and paid the rent for his assisted living facility", the statement said.

Those clients include "Client 1", a man who is paraplegic and who won a $4 million settlement from Los Angeles County.

"Any claim that any monies due clients were mishandled is bogus nonsense". In one example in the indictment, Avenatti answered "no" under oath during the proceeding when asked if his firm received any fees from the Super Bowl NFL litigation.

In recent months, Avenatti has attached himself to other controversial matters, representing a woman who claimed misconduct by US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh while he was in high school and several parties connected to a case against musician R. Kelly. He allegedly also hid $2.75 million from another client.

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