Embattled creepy porn lawyer Michael Avenatti was hit with a 36-count indictment on Thursday for fraud, perjury, failure to pay taxes, embezzlement and other financial crimes, reported the Los Angeles Times.
Avenatti is accused of stealing “millions of dollars from five clients and used a tangled web of shell companies and bank accounts to cover up the theft.”
According to the Times, Avenatti hid a $4 million settlement from one of his clients who was a mentally ill paraplegic man on disability.
Geoffrey Ernst Johnson was awarded $4 million from a settlement of a lawsuit against Los Angeles County and the money was wired to Avenatti in January of 2015.
According to the indictment, Avenatti hid the money from Mr. Johnson for years by putting the funds in various shell companies.
Avenatti also took a settlement from another client and used it to buy a private jet.
The Los Angeles Times reported:
In 2017, Avenatti received $2.75 million in proceeds from another client’s legal settlement, but concealed that too, the indictment says. The next day, he put $2.5 million of that money into the purchase of a private jet for Passport 420, LLC, a company he effectively owned, according to prosecutors.
At the time, Avenatti and his businesses owed millions of dollars in back taxes, the government claimed, and his Newport Beach law firm, Eagan Avenatti, was weeks from bankruptcy.
Federal agents seized the Honda HA-420 jet at Santa Barbara Airport on Wednesday under a court-approved warrant that remains under seal, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles.
The breadth of Avenatti’s alleged crimes is clear in the maximum sentence he would face if convicted on all counts: 335 years in prison.
In a completely separate federal case in New York, Avenatti faces up to 47 more years in prison if he is convicted on extortion charges — the indictment in New York is expected to be made public soon.
Avenatti was charged with trying to extort #20 million from Nike.
The Trump curse is real!
Avenatti, who represented porn star Stormy Daniels lost two of her lawsuits against Trump so now she owes the President over $300,000 in legal fees.
Michael Avenatti fired off a few tweets after he was freed on a $300,000 bond Thursday morning.
Avenatti tweeted on Thursday that he has made “powerful enemies” along the way.
Avenatti maintained his innocence and vowed to fight the charges.
Read the full report at the Los Angeles Times here.