Michael Avenatti became a household name as the attorney representing former adult film star Stormy Daniels in her case against President Donald Trump. But Avenatti’s most recent notoriety is strictly of his own doing. During a California Bar Association disciplinary hearing over allegations that he scammed a client out of $840,000, IRS agents arrested Avenatti on charges that he violated bail by committing a series of state and federal crimes while awaiting trial in New York.
IRS agents arrested Avenatti after it was discovered that he arranged to have his ex-wife purchase a $50,000 Mercedes in her name that was used by Mr. Avenatti and his personal driver. Documents on the arrest stated, between June 2019 and September 2019, Avenatti ‘flipped’ cashier’s checks on eight occasions to himself in order to limit the amount of funds available in his U.S. Bank account, limiting his creditors’ ability to levy his accounts and recover the debts he owed to his creditors.
The New York trial is based on charges that Avenatti tried to extort more than 25 million dollars from Nike, but a bigger trial looms on his horizon. Avenatti is expected in court in Los Angeles in May on a 36-count indictment that includes allegations that he defrauded clients of millions of dollars, committed bank fraud and conveniently forgot to pay the IRS.
Following his arrest, a judge refused to grant Avenatti bail, citing a danger to the community at large. Shortly thereafter he was flown to New York for the beginning of the Nike extortion trial.