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Michael Avenatti faces 36-count federal indictment

Michael Avenatti faces 36-count federal indictment

The Santa Ana grand jury outlined serial abuses of power, alleging that Avenatti stole millions of dollars from five of his own clients.

The new charges do not include the NY extortion case alleging Avenatti demanded millions to stay quiet about claims he planned to reveal about Nike paying high school players.

He faces 10 counts of wire fraud related to more than $12 million he received on behalf of clients he represented in four matters.

According to the LA Times, one of the clients Avenatti allegedly stole from was a mentally ill paraplegic who won a $4 million settlement in a lawsuit against Los Angeles County.

And, according to the indictment, he failed to pay almost $5 million in payroll taxes for a coffee store chain, Global Baristas US LLC, that he owned in Washington and California even while withholding the taxes from employees' paychecks.

When the IRS put tax levies on coffee company bank accounts to collect more than $5 million, Avenatti had Tully's employees deposit cash receipts in a little-known account, the indictment said.

The indictment also claims Avenatti did not pay taxes and lied during bankruptcy proceedings.

U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna says the four areas of alleged criminal conduct are all linked to each other because money generated from one set of alleged crimes appears in other sets of alleged crimes.

On Twitter, the lawyer said he "intend [s] to fully fight all charges and plead NOT GUILTY".

The breadth of Avenatti's alleged crimes is clear in the maximum sentence he would face if convicted on all counts: 335 years in prison. He faces 47 years in prison if convicted in that case.

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"Full confidentiality, we ride off into the sunset", Avenatti told a Nike representative, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation agent.

Daniels, who replaced Avenatti as her lawyer last month, has said she was "saddened but not shocked" by his arrest. But Avenatti denied to the client that the total settlement had already been paid, the indictment reads.

Avenatti has waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

In another instance, Avenatti allegedly took $2.5 million from a $2.75 million client settlement payment to purchase his portion of a private jet, while falsely telling the client that the settlement was set up to provide monthly payments over eight years. For years, Avenatti hid the money from Johnson, who relies on disability payments, spending the entire sum in over five months. An indictment is expected soon in that case.

Avenatti capitalized on how the Stormy Daniels case raised his profile, repeatedly assailing Trump and his former attorney, Michael Cohen.

"Knowing full well that the requested information could lead to inquiries that could reveal" the embezzlement, Avenatti ignored Johnson's request, causing the government to cut off his disability payments two months ago, according to prosecutors.

Just weeks ago, Avenatti was charged in California and NY.

Listen to the Guys Who Law talk about Avenatti's troubles below!

Avenatti attacked the allegation in a social media post Thursday.


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