Michael Avenatti charged in 36-count federal indictment
01:54, Apr 12, 2019
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Federal agents confirmed with Fox News that they had seized a Honda HA-420 twin-engine jet-worth $4.5 million-on April 10 after a federal judge issued a warrant.
In the case of the paraplegic client, for example, Avenatti, after having pocketed the client's $4 million settlement, directed a small portion of what the client was owed, $124,000, to be paid to the client and made some payments to assisted living facilities to cover the client's rent.
Avenatti had denied the accusations in a series of posts on social media on April 11.
The indictment also stated that Avenatti received $2.75 million in proceeds for settlement but hid that from another client.
On Thursday, Avenatti tweeted after the indictment was announced: "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.
Listen to the Guys Who Law talk about Avenatti's troubles below! But when Johnson was in escrow to purchase the property, Avenatti falsely said he had not received the settlement funds, the indictment said. Avenatti also offered to accept a $22.5 million payment for his silence, prosecutors said.
Avenatti also allegedly defrauded a bank in MS, submitting false tax returns to get three loans for over $4 million in 2014 for his law firm and a company he owns, Global Baristas US LLC. The tax returns he presented to the bank were never filed to the IRS, prosecutors have said.
And, according to the indictment, he failed to pay almost $5 million in payroll taxes for a coffee store chain, Global Baristas US LLC, that he owned in Washington and California even while withholding the taxes from employees' paychecks. Additionally, he's also been accused of shorting the IRS of millions as well, through a method that's been described as "a tangled financial web of lies" that was "used to fund a lavish lifestyle which had no limits".
The charges are the latest major blow to a career that took off previous year when Avenatti represented Daniels in her lawsuit to break a confidentiality agreement with Trump to stay quiet about an affair they allegedly had. "I intend to fully fight all charges and plead NOT GUILTY". She sued the president over a nondisclosure agreement that in the weeks before the 2016 US presidential election kept her from discussing her claims that she and Trump had an extramarital affair 10 years earlier.
Following the announcement, Avenatti tweeted that he remains "confident that justice will be done".
This certainly reads as a follow-on to the initial Central District of California filing - as if the first set of charges inspired more people to lodge claims against the former Thinking Like A Lawyer guest.
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