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Federal Grand Jury Indicts Michael Avenatti on 36 Counts, Which Includes 34 New Charges

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Michael Avenatti on 36 Counts, Which Includes 34 New Charges

The new indictment alleges he stole millions from a mentally ill, physically disabled client.

A federal grand jury in Los Angeles indicted celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti with 36 counts that include “fraud, perjury, failure to pay taxes, embezzlement and other financial crimes.”

The DOJ wrote in its press release that Avenatti faces 10 counts of wire fraud, 19 tax-related charges, two counts of bank fraud, and four bankruptcy fraud charges, and embezzlement charges.

**This is a breaking story. I will add more information once officials release the indictment and speak to the press….

Avenatti already faces in California. In March, the Department of Justice charged Avenatti with federal bank fraud and wire fraud charges.

The new indictment has 36 charges, which means Avenatti faces 34 new charges. The DOJ provided a summary of these charges:

The criminal charges in the indictment address four areas of wrongdoing: the embezzlement of millions of dollars that should have been paid to clients, the failure to file income tax returns and failure to pay the IRS millions of dollars in taxes, the submission of fraudulent loan applications that included tax returns never filed with the IRS, and the concealment of assets from the Bankruptcy Court.

“These four areas of criminal conduct alleged in the indictment 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,” said United States Attorney Nick Hanna.

“The financial investigation conducted by the IRS details a man who allegedly failed to meet his obligations to the government, stole from his clients, and used his ill-gotten gains to support his racing team, the ownership of Tully’s coffee shops, and a private jet,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Korner with IRS Criminal Investigation in Los Angeles. “Individuals who intentionally thwart the IRS and fail to meet their tax obligations will be caught and they will be held accountable”

The most heartbreaking account comes from Client 1, who is mentally ill and “became a paraplegic as a result of the [Los Angeles] county violating his constitutional rights.” The DOJ wrote that LA county gave the man a $4 million settlement in January 2015, but Avenatti kept it from him to use “portions of the settlement to finance his coffee business or pay personal expenses.” They allege “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, according to the indictment.”

If convicted, Avenatti faces “333 years in federal court plus an additional two-year mandatory consecutive sentence for the aggravated identity theft charge.” Officials scheduled his arraignment on April 29.

Previous Reporting

From The Los Angeles Times:

Avenatti stole millions of dollars from five clients and used a tangled web of shell companies and bank accounts to cover up the theft, the Santa Ana grand jury alleged in an indictment that prosecutors will make public Thursday.

One of the clients, Geoffrey Ernest Johnson, was a mentally ill paraplegic on disability who won a $4-million settlement of a suit against Los Angeles County. The money was wired to Avenatti in January 2015, but he hid it from Johnson for years, according to the indictment.

In 2017, Avenatti received $2.75 million in proceeds from another client’s legal settlement, but concealed that too, the indictment says. The next day, he put $2.5 million of that money into the purchase of a private jet for Passport 420, LLC, a company he effectively owned, according to prosecutors.

At the time, Avenatti and his businesses owed millions of dollars in back taxes, the government claimed, and his Newport Beach law firm, Eagan Avenatti, was weeks from bankruptcy.

Yes, the indictment alleges that Avenatti stole money from a mentally ill, physically disabled person.

It looks like the new charges give more power to the way Nick Hanna, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, described Avenatti at a press conference in March. He called Avenatti “a corrupt lawyer who instead fights for his own selfish interests by misappropriating close to a million dollars that rightfully belonged to one of his clients.”

Avenatti spoke to CNBC:

Reached for comment, Avenatti told CNBC in a text message, “For 20 years I have represented Davids vs. Goliaths and relied on due process and our system of justice.”

“Along the way, I have made many powerful enemies. I am entitled to a FULL presumption of innocence and am confident that justice will be done once ALL of the facts are known,” Avenatti added.

In a tweet, Avenatti said, “I intend to fully fight all charges and plead NOT GUILTY. I look forward to the entire truth being known as opposed to a one-sided version meant to sideline me.”

Avenatti is out on $300,000 bail. He also faces charges in the Southern District of New York. Prosecutors allege Avenatti attempted “to extract more than $20M in payments from a publicly traded company by threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial & reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met.”

The charges include conspiracy to transmit interstate communications with intent to extort, conspiracy to commit extortion, and extortion.

The federal prosecutors wrote in documents that Avenatti and a client claimed “they had evidence that Nike had funneled money to recruits in exchange for their commitments to college teams sponsored by Nike and that they would release them in order to damage Nike’s reputation and market capitalization unless Nike paid them between $15 and $25 million.” The document stated the alleged crime took place in March.


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Where are the prosecutions of Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton on these same charges? Now don’t get me wrong here, this guy is going to get what he deserves, but will he serve any hard time? It is very doubtful.

    snopercod in reply to Stan25. | April 11, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    And where is the prosecution of Hillary (and others). This is just a distraction.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to snopercod. | April 12, 2019 at 11:06 am

      maybe Avenatti and Hillary should be placed in the same cell?

        OleDirtyBarrister in reply to JusticeDelivered. | April 12, 2019 at 3:15 pm

        Placing Cohen and Avenatti in the same cell would be the ticket. And maybe put them next door to cellmates Manafort and Greg Craig. Then, on the other side of Avenatti and Cohen you have John Brennan and Jim Comey, and Jim Clapper and Stzock immediately across the deck.

    Terence G. Gain in reply to Stan25. | April 12, 2019 at 7:32 am

    He will die in prison.

“Sleaze.” “Democrats.” These I’m used to seeing together. “Indicted” is a nice addition.

Just the one issue with the paraplegic is enough to make me think he deserves nothing but the best treatment from the feds.

How’s a guy supposed to buy fuel for that jet?
What a sleeze.

    OleDirtyBarrister in reply to NGAREADER. | April 12, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    One must steal big to pay for TWO jets and pay to operate both. In addition to the house rental at $100,000 per month, the exotic cars, the spending sprees, failed business ventures, a racing hobby, the wife, and a mistress.

      MajorWood in reply to OleDirtyBarrister. | April 12, 2019 at 5:56 pm

      I am starting to wonder if the recent picture of the black hole is just an image of the spot where Avenatti’s soul was supposed to be located.

ain’t this ’bout a DAMN shame?


Put mendacious, avaricious and narcissistic Avenatti up there with Jussie Smollett in the Sociopath Hall of Fame. These reprobates have no conscience.

    alaskabob in reply to guyjones. | April 11, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    Just looking at him makes me want to hose down with Lysol. He gives slime a bad name.

    Unfortunately, there will be nothing left for the clients that really needed their awards. No “Club Fed” for him… he needs the “big house” life style for many many years… if he is (snicker) guilty.

What you mean Creepy Porn Lawyer is also evil…..noooooo, say it ain’t so.

“If you want to make crime pay, go to Law School.”
(Whitey Bulger, RIP)

    guyjones in reply to OldProf2. | April 11, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    A similar and memorable line was proffered by novelist Mario Puzo, in “The Godfather.” In the novel, Puzo is describing Don Corleone’s rationale for encouraging his adopted son, Tom Hagan, to become a lawyer:

    “A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more money than a hundred men with guns.”

He’s like the poster boy for bad lawyer jokes.

He actually makes some lawyers look good.

Has anyone filed a complaint with the California Bar Association? Not a good look if no one has.

Misappropriation of money from clients: it happens.
Mistakes were made.

Stealing from disabled clients and then hiding it for years?
Yeah he needs to lose his license NOW.

I wonder if this will effect presidential run?

    G. de La Hoya in reply to Vicky060. | April 11, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Do you think he and Stormy, you know 😉 Made for TV movie in the works perhaps. I don’t think Libby sick weirdo Stephen King could write a story this well 🙂

100% Guarantee he cuts a deal to avoid spending the rest of his life in prison.

    MajorWood in reply to ghost dog. | April 11, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    But what deal? What can he offer that the prosecutors want? At this point he would have to cross some pretty powerful people in order to get off, and that might not be a safe move. Of course, up until recently he has seen himself as bulletproof, so maybe he still thinks that there are enemies out there to be made w/o consequences. As I have said before, my training would have me placing him in the high risk for self harm category. His “moment of clarity” will happen in very murky waters.

      ghost dog in reply to MajorWood. | April 11, 2019 at 2:32 pm

      Didn’t say get off. He will take 20 years or so and not risk a trial. He has nothing to offer. With 20 he could be out in 9 to 11 years with accumulated “good time”. He’s facing the probability if convicted on both coasts of consecutive and not concurrent sentences. He’s beyond screwed.

      Stan25 in reply to MajorWood. | April 11, 2019 at 3:00 pm

      Narcing out highly placed people could earn him a place along side of Seth Rich and a few others who did just that. Come to think of it, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    OleDirtyBarrister in reply to ghost dog. | April 11, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    It is probably that he will cut a deal and plea to charges. But he will still have to do some substantial time if a plurality of the charges in CA can withstand a motion to dismiss and appeal thereon.

    OleDirtyBarrister in reply to ghost dog. | April 11, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    It is probable that he will cut a deal and plea to charges. But he will still have to do some substantial time if a plurality of the charges in CA can withstand a motion to dismiss and appeal thereon.

CNN’s Brian “The Missing Link” Stelter once declared that Avenatti would make an excellent presidential candidate – back in the days when CNN and MSNBC had him on over 100 times in 90 days.

“If convicted, Avenatti faces ‘333 years in federal court…'”

So, who is being punished here? The judges and juries?


This may adversely affect his run for President.

    OleDirtyBarrister in reply to Jay H. | April 11, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    He might still have hope if he runs as a “Socialist Democrat”. He could choose a strategy of arguing that Trump is more corrupt than he is and will make sure Trump is tried for criminal violations.

    4fun in reply to Jay H. | April 11, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    He’ll dominate in the Chicago primary.

OleDirtyBarrister | April 11, 2019 at 2:21 pm


He is looking at substantial time, more time than possible for incarceration at a minimal security work camp for white collar criminals.

OleDirtyBarrister | April 11, 2019 at 2:28 pm

Is David Chase going to cast him for a role in the forthcoming The Many Saints Of Newark? It is a movie about the early days of the Soprano clan, when Johnny and Junior were in their prime.

I think I’ll make a large schadenfreude shake and watch the show.

On the up side, by next week he will be leading the pack to be the Democrat presidential nominee.

I don’t understand how ragspierre’s highly respected lawyer keeps getting charged with crimes.

You think maybe that was a bit misleading? I wonder why.

    Did Rags ever do any adult scenes with Stormy? If so, can you provide a link?

      JusticeDelivered in reply to | April 12, 2019 at 11:18 am

      Perhaps Rags and Avenatti are cut from the same cloth, the main difference being that Avenatti is a tiny bit smarter 🙂

        Ragspierre in reply to JusticeDelivered. | April 12, 2019 at 12:59 pm

        Or perhaps I’m cut from the same cloth as Prof. Bill. I keep looking for the least sign of your vaunted intelligence.

        There ain’t none…

      Ragspierre in reply to | April 12, 2019 at 12:56 pm

      What we do know for sure is that your Great Goad Cheeto did what I would never, and have never done.

      I’ve never cheated in a relationship, never pursued a porn star, and never paid one one dime to cover it up, SwineReports.

    Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | April 12, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    I don’t understand how you keep chanting that damned lie, you POS.

    I said that he was a highly effective trial advocate. This is a simple statement of bald fact.

    How the fluck else did he win multi-million dollar litigation AND settlements, you dope?

    AND, as I’ve ALSO pointed out factually, a LOT of really effective trial advocates are terrible, awful, really bad people who I despise.

    Like you.

      Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | April 13, 2019 at 12:04 am

      “I said that he was a highly effective trial advocate. This is a simple statement of bald fact.”

      No, the “bald fact” is, he’s a crook that stole his client’s money. His real quality for you was he and you share a Trump hatred.

      You’re a pair, Rags & Avenatti.

        Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | April 13, 2019 at 8:09 am

        You’re just a stupid liar who knows it and likes it. The Jussie Smollet of LI.

          Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | April 13, 2019 at 11:16 am

          You were trying to tell us Avenatti was a good guy, all because he was in on the crooked cabal you neverTrumpers were pushing to take out an elected president.

          He’s a crooked swindler, not an “effective litigator”.

          He’s going to jail.

          You knew nothing other than he was a Trump hater like you. So you pushed him as being a good lawyer and he isn’t, he’s a damn crook.

          You are the most corrupt commenter on LI.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | April 13, 2019 at 4:40 pm

          More of your ridiculous, stupid lies.

          I never said what you lie about. You lie to uphold your cult leader. That’s all you do.

          Several things can be true at once. A very effective trial counsel, or an effective mob lawyer like Roy Cohn, can be a crook as well.

          Ask Duh Donald.

          Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | April 13, 2019 at 5:34 pm

          More of your BS. Other lawyers reputations, particularly when made up by another pathetic lawyer, have nothing to do with Avenatti, a corrupt criminal, AKA Creepy Porn Lawyer. Your attempt to inflate his status for reasons anti-Trump were a failure and seen by everyone for what they were.

          Avenatti is a crook, going to jail. A man that robbed his clients including disabled ones. He was not an effective trial lawyer, he was a conman, like you.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | April 13, 2019 at 10:38 pm

          Just like Jussie, you make shit up to suite your lying meme.

          As noted, I never said what you lied about. You’re just a lying, cowardly POS.

          Why you bother is a marvel. But it is just you. T-rump sucker deluxe.

Avenetti had it made, and probably could have died a wealthy scammer. He just started beliving his own delusions.

The over and under on going away: 90/10:

Lori Laughlin

Still out for the moment:

Smelly Smolett
Hillary clinton

He’s a rat. I hate rats.

I hope if he’s convicted he appeals up to the Supreme Court and gets to present his case to Justice Kavanaugh

What a maggot.

Makes me feel a little sad for Stormy.

The guy reminds me of Roy Cohn.

He’ll be in the big house for a long, long time.