Stormy Daniels’ ex-lawyer Avenatti could go to prison for 335 years

Michael Avenatti is alleged to have committed 36 counts of embezzlement, fraud, cheating on taxes

In this April 1, 2019 file photo, attorney Michael Avenatti arrives at federal court in Santa Ana, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Attorney Michael Avenatti has been charged in a 36-count federal indictment alleging he stole millions of dollars from clients, did not pay his taxes, committed bank fraud and lied in bankruptcy proceedings, federal prosecutors in California said Thursday.

Avenatti, 48, was indicted late Wednesday by a Southern California grand jury on a raft of additional charges following his arrest last month in New York on two related counts and for allegedly trying to shake down Nike for up to $25 million.

READ MORE: Stormy Daniels’ ex-lawyer Avenatti charged with trying to extort millions from Nike

“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,” U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna told reporters.

A jet co-owned by Avenatti was seized Wednesday as part of the ongoing investigation, officials said.

The attorney best known for representing porn actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Donald Trump said Thursday on Twitter that he will plead not guilty to the California charges, which carry a potential prison sentence of 335 years in prison.

“I look forward to the entire truth being known as opposed to a one-sided version meant to sideline me,” he wrote.

The new charges do not include the New York extortion case alleging Avenatti demanded millions to stay quiet about claims he planned to reveal about Nike paying high school players. Avenatti has said he expects to be cleared in that case.

The 61-page Southern California indictment alleges Avenatti embezzled from a paraplegic man and four other clients and deceived them by shuffling money between accounts to pay off small portions of what they were due to lull them into thinking they were getting paid.

Avenatti is also charged with not paying personal income taxes, not paying taxes for his various businesses, including two law firms, and pocketing payroll taxes from the Tully’s Coffee chain that he owned, the indictment said.

Brian Melley, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

One-woman comedy show coming to Kelowna next week

Cree actress Michelle Thrush will be performing at Rotary Centre on Jan. 24 and 25

UBCO partners with Boeing to test new anti-ice coating technology

The coating could one day be applied to all airplanes to prevent ice buildup

Kelowna’s last video store, Leo’s Video, to remain open despite failed sale

Kelowna’s last video rental store will remain open and under its namesake’s ownership

Construction starts for new middle school in Lake Country

H.S. Grenda Middle School is scheduled to open in Sept. of 2021

Two-vehicle collision slows traffic on Highway 97

Harvey is down to two lanes heading east past Dilworth is closed while crews clean up

Older Canadians highlighted in Kelowna film project to fight ageism

The project is part of a campaign to combat ageism

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Princeton – a Prince Town in waiting?

The Town of Princeton has been waiting 160 years for a Royal… Continue reading

Group builds shelters for Vernon’s stray cats

Twenty insulated cat shelters were constructed by volunteers and delivered around town

Revelstoke already double last year’s snowfall

The city is just below halfway to the snowiest winter on record

True Stories: Okanagan memoir-writers, reading

Reading with local North Okanagan writers Art Dalton, Patti Shales Lefkos, Raven Dahl, Janelle Hardy

Summerland drama students to stage Matilda

Story by Roald Dahl will be presented at Centre Stage Theatre in February

Woman convicted in Salmon Arm love triangle murder granted escorted temporary absences

Monica Sikorski was 17 when she plotted shooting death of 22-year-old Tyler Myers

Most Read