12 April, 2019
Avenatti tweeted that he will plead not guilty and fight the charges.
"I look forward to the entire truth being known as opposed to a one-sided version meant to sideline me", he tweeted.
He added later: "Any claim that any monies due clients were mishandled is bogus nonsense".
A federal grand jury in California has indicted celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti on 36 counts, including embezzlement, wire fraud, tax evasion, bankruptcy fraud and bank fraud connected to his alleged theft of tens of millions of dollars from five clients, one a paraplegic.
Andrew Stolper, who represents Frank, says Avenatti would have faced questions about money he's charged with stealing from clients. She sued the president over a nondisclosure agreement that in the weeks before the 2016 USA presidential election kept her from discussing her claims that she and Trump had an extramarital affair 10 years earlier.
Avenatti also allegedly raided another client's settlement in 2017 to pay $2.5 million for his portion of a jet, prosecutors said.
Avenatti is scheduled to be arraigned on April 29 in federal court in Orange County, Calif., the prosecutor's office said. The Los Angeles Times reported that Johnson is the paraplegic man whom he allegedly withheld the multimillion-dollar settlement from.
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The new charges do not include a NY extortion case alleging Avenatti demanded millions to stay quiet about claims he planned to reveal about Nike paying high school players.
The indictment claimed that he lied to an IRS revenue officer, opened a new bank account to receive funds related to credit card transactions at the coffee shops, and directed employees to deposit cash receipts into a bank account belonging to a auto racing outfit that Avenatti owned.
The IRS reportedly began investigating Avenatti more than a year ago, though it's also been noted that that attorney "began to run afoul of the IRS nearly a decade ago" by failing to file income tax returns.
Prosecutors also gave examples of Avenatti's other alleged fraudulent behavior such as overstating resources of one of his law firms to obtain three loans totaling $4.1 million from a bank and repeatedly lying about income his he was receiving during bankruptcy proceedings.
These existing charges already carry a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison. In the NY case, Avenatti is accused of attempting to extort more than $20 million from sportswear company Nike.
According to court documents, prosecutors said Avenatti would occasionally send Client 1 "advance" payments that didn't exceed $1,900.
FILE PHOTO: Lawyer Michael Avenatti in New York, New York, U.S., March 25, 2019.
He allegedly stole millions from one client to purchase a private jet, according to the indictment, which is included in full at the bottom of this article. Avenatti also offered to accept a $22.5 million payment for his silence, prosecutors said. He was arrested for those charges last week, but is out after posting $300,000 bail. He's also defending himself on Twitter.