Michael Avenatti could face 335 years in prison

Avenatti indicted on 36 charges of tax dodging perjury theft from clients

Michael Avenatti charged in 36-count federal indictment

Celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti, who is already accused of federal financial crimes, has been indicted for 36 counts of embezzlement and fraud by a California federal grand jury, USA prosecutors announced Thursday.

The indictment appears to pertain to another case, but federal officials are scheduled to provide further details at an afternoon news conference, the AP reported, citing a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office. Cohen pleaded guilty and is set to report to prison next month, and Avenatti and Daniels have parted ways.

The indictment meant the grand jury, which voted to indict Avenatti late on Wednesday, had found the California prosecutors had probable cause to pursue their charges.

Federal prosecutors say attorney Michael Avenatti has been charged in a 36-count federal indictment in Southern California.

The attorney known for representing porn actress Stormy Daniels in legal battles against President Donald Trump is accused of fraudulently obtaining bank loans and pocketing funds belonging to a client.

Embattled California attorney Michael Avenatti will be named in an indictment at noon EST on Thursday. He was also charged with wire and bank fraud for allegedly using a client's settlement money to pay for own personal expenses.

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In New York, Avenatti said last month that the case was pushed by Nike in an attempt to distract attention from what he called its crimes.

They allege that Avenatti drained a $4 million settlement payment from his law firm's trust account and used portions of it for the coffee business, but also concealed the receipt of the settlement from his client, a paraplegic who had sued Los Angeles County. The client was also denied disability benefits in February 2019 after Avenatti failed to respond to the Social Security Administration on the client's behalf, allegedly fearing that disclosure of information the administration sought would expose Avenatti's scheme. "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 tweeted. In California, it was alleged that Avenatti committed wire fraud and bank fraud to embezzle a client's money for the goal of paying off his own debts.

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. But when Johnson was in escrow to purchase the property, Avenatti falsely said he had not received the settlement funds, the indictment said.

"Any claim that any monies due clients were mishandled is bogus nonsense".

Avenatti became a prominent critic of Trump and a frequent guest on cable television news while representing Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. Avenatti also offered to accept a $22.5 million payment for his silence, prosecutors said.

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