Michael Avenatti has now been indicted on 36 counts by a federal grand jury in California, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles. Avenatti, the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels and a vocal critic of President Trump, will reportedly be indicted on new charges, alleging he stole millions from clients, didn’t pay his taxes for his coffee business, and committed bank fraud to cover up the crimes.
The newest charges against Avenatti include fraud, perjury, tax dodging and embezzlement from clients, according to Ciaran McEvoy, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles.
The lawyer has been accused by California prosecutors of stealing $1.6 million from a client’s settlement to cover his own expenses, and defrauding a bank in Mississippi. He is also facing charges from federal prosecutors in New York, who have accused him of trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike Inc.
Avenatti denies the charges, and was released from jail on a $300,000 bond after his arrest in New York.
“The case paints an ugly picture of lawless conduct and greed,” Nick Hanna, the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, said last month.
Avenatti did not file tax returns for years and obstructed IRS efforts to collect millions in unpaid taxes from himself personally.
The complaint laid out how Avenatti allegedly spent the millions he kept from the IRS on luxe personal expenses, including watches, an “elite private action club,” and Porsches.
The California indictment requires Avenatti to appear in court to enter a plea, and there the judge may also set a trial date.
“For 20 years, I have represented Davids vs. Goliaths and relied on due process and our system of justice,” Avenatti tweeted Thursday morning. “Along the way, I have made many powerful enemies. 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 continued: “I intend to fully fight all charges and plead NOT GUILTY. I look forward to the entire truth being known as opposed to a one-sided version meant to sideline me.”