The celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti has been charged with 36 counts of fraud, embezzlement, perjury, failure to pay taxes, and other financial crimes in Los Angeles, according to a newly unsealed indictment.
Avenatti is accused of stealing millions of dollars from five clients and using multiple shell companies and bank accounts to cover up his actions.
If he’s convicted, Avenatti faces 335 years in prison.
Avenatti denies the charges.
Avenatti is also a defendant in two other criminal cases unsealed last month: federal prosecutors in New York charged him with attempting to extort $20 million from Nike, and prosecutors in Los Angeles charged him with wire fraud and bank fraud.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.
A federal grand jury in Los Angeles indicted the celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti on 36 counts of perjury, fraud, failure to pay taxes, embezzlement, and other financial crimes, according to an indictment that was unsealed on Thursday and first reported on by The Los Angeles Times.
According to the LA Times, Avenatti stole millions of dollars from five clients by using a web of shell companies and bank accounts to cover his alleged misdeeds.
The maximum sentence Avenatti would face if convicted is 335 years in prison.
The lawyer pushed back the charges in a series of tweets Thursday.
“I am entitled to a FULL presumption of innocence and am confident that justice will be done once ALL of the facts are known,” he wrote.
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. The report, which cited the indictment, said Avenatti received the money from LA county in 2015 but did not tell Johnson about it. Instead, he allegedly funneled most of the money through several bank …read more
Source:: Business Insider