Michael Avenatti is hit with a 36-count federal indictment for ‘trying to extort Nike for $25million’

Thursday, April 11, 2019
By Paul Martin

Avenatti, 48, was hit with the new charges on Thursday in federal prosecutors
He was already charged with trying to extort Nike in New York and with allegedly stealing from a client in California
It is not yet known what the new charges are or what the maximum sentence they carry is
Avenatti maintained his innocence on Thursday and said the case was politically motivated
The lawyer, who made his name by representing Stormy Daniels, was released by authorities last month after posting $300,000 bond
The IRS is also investigating Avenatti for allegedly not paying taxes for years
As part of their investigation, they seized his private plane on Wednesday

11 April 2019

Michael Avenatti has been hit with a 36-count federal indictment in the latest addition to his fast-growing mountain of legal problems.

The new charges were brought on Thursday by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles.

They allege tax evasion, perjury and stealing from clients.

According to the grand jury indictment, he stole millions of dollars from five clients, used shell companies to cover up theft.

One of the alleged victims is Geoffrey Ernest Johnson, a mentally ill paraplegic who won a $4million settlement from Los Angeles County in 2015, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Prosecutors say Avenatti hid the settlement from him for years and spent the money. It also claims that in 2017, he received $2.75million in a separate case but hid that from his client .

The next day, he allegedly spent $2.5million of the money on a private plane for a shell company that he owns.

The 48-year-old attorney was already facing state charges in New York and Southern California for allegedly attempting to extort Nike and stealing from a client.

He denied the allegations in a series of tweets on Thursday morning.

‘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.

‘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 said.

He followed up with a second tweet which read: ‘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.’

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