“As alleged, AVENATTI used misrepresentations and a fraudulent document purporting to bear his client’s name and signature to convince his client’s literary agent to divert money owed to AVENATTI’s client to an account controlled by AVENATTI. AVENATTI then spent the money principally for his own personal and business purposes.”
We’re losing track of all the indictments against Michael Avenatti.
- Feds Charge Michael Avenatti with Extortion, Embezzlement
- Avenatti IRS problems added to Extortion and Embezzlement charges
- Federal Grand Jury Indicts Michael Avenatti on 36 Counts, Which Includes 34 New Charges
And that’s not even getting into the problems he caused Stormy Daniels by bringing a defamation suit against Trump, and other business problems:
- Stormy Daniels ordered to pay Trump $293,052.33 in attorneys’ fees, costs, and sanctions
- Michael Avenatti Gives Up Control of Law Firm After Former Partner Claimed He Hid Millions
Remember, this guy was the toast of #TheResistance media, FLASHBACK: When the media was in love with Avenatti, a supercut:
Now he’s just toast.
The feds just indicted Avenatti for stealing from a client, widely believed to be Stormy, as well as for his previously charged alleged extortion of Nike:
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 (“FBI”), announced the indictment today of MICHAEL AVENATTI on fraud and aggravated identity theft charges. As alleged, AVENATTI used misrepresentations and a fraudulent document purporting to bear his client’s name and signature to convince his client’s literary agent to divert money owed to AVENATTI’s client to an account controlled by AVENATTI. AVENATTI then spent the money principally for his own personal and business purposes. The fraud and aggravated identity theft case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts of the Southern District of New York.
AVENATTI was separately indicted today on extortion charges, which were the subject of a previous Complaint and arrest of AVENATTI, relating to his alleged attempt to extract more than $20 million in payments from Nike, Inc., by threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met. That case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe of the Southern District of New York.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “Michael Avenatti abused and violated the core duty of an attorney – the duty to his client. As alleged, he used his position of trust to steal an advance on the client’s book deal. As alleged, he blatantly lied to and stole from his client to maintain his extravagant lifestyle, including to pay for, among other things, a monthly car payment on a Ferrari. Far from zealously representing his client, Avenatti, as alleged, instead engaged in outright deception and theft, victimizing rather than advocating for his client.”
Here are the key allegations of the indictment, from the DOJ press release:
From August 2018 through February 2019, AVENATTI defrauded a client (“Victim-1”) by diverting money owed to Victim-1 to AVENATTI’s control and use. After assisting Victim-1 in securing a book contract, AVENATTI allegedly stole a significant portion of Victim-1’s advance on that contract. He did so by, among other things, sending a fraudulent and unauthorized letter purporting to contain Victim-1’s signature to Victim-1’s literary agent, which instructed the agent to send payments not to Victim-1 but to a bank account controlled by AVENATTI. As alleged, Victim-1 had not signed or authorized the letter, and did not even know of its existence.
Specifically, prior to Victim-1’s literary agent wiring the second of four installment payments due to Victim-1 as part of the book advance, AVENATTI sent a letter to Victim-1’s literary agent purportedly signed by Victim-1 that instructed the literary agent to send all future payments to a client trust account in Victim-1’s name and controlled by AVENATTI. The literary agent then wired $148,750 to the account, which AVENATTI promptly began spending for his own purposes, including on airfare, hotels, car services, restaurants and meal delivery, online retailers, payroll for his law firm and another business he owned, and insurance. When Victim-1 began inquiring of AVENATTI as to why Victim-1 had not received the second installment, AVENATTI lied to Victim-1, telling Victim-1 that he was still attempting to obtain the payment from Victim-1’s publisher. Approximately one month after diverting the payment, AVENATTI used funds recently received from another source to pay $148,750 to Victim-1, so that Victim-1 would not realize that AVENATTI had previously taken and used Victim-1’s money.
Approximately one week later, pursuant to AVENATTI’s earlier fraudulent instructions, the literary agent sent another payment of $148,750 of Victim-1’s book advance to the client account controlled by AVENATTI. AVENATTI promptly began spending the money for his own purposes, including to make payments to individuals with whom AVENATTI had a personal relationship, to make a monthly lease payment on a luxury automobile, and to pay for airfare, dry cleaning, hotels, restaurants and meals, payroll, and insurance costs. Moreover, to conceal his scheme, and despite repeated requests to AVENATTI, as Victim-1’s lawyer, for assistance in obtaining the book payment that Victim-1 believed was missing, AVENATTI led Victim-1 to believe that Victim-1’s publisher was refusing to make the payment to the literary agent, when, as AVENATTI knew, the publisher had made the payment to the literary agent, who had then sent the money to AVENATTI pursuant to AVENATTI’s fraudulent instructions.
The same press release linked to an indictment regarding the prior extortion charge involving Nike.
Avenatti proclaimed his innocence:
There were suggestions of Avenatti’s stormy Stormy relationship when she broke up with him, Avenatti: I broke up with Stormy before she broke up with me!
What’s the next shoe to drop on Avenatti? Remember I called it:
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.