Attorney Michael Avenatti faces new criminal charges in Calif.

Lawyer Avenatti Charged in California with US Fraud, Tax Crimes

Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday on a host of financial and other crimes, including fraud, tax avoidance, and embezzling funds from clients, one of whom was a mentally ill paraplegic.

In the Johnson theft, the indictment alleges, Avenatti received $4 million from Los Angeles County in 2015 to settle the paraplegic's suit over his treatment at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility.

The charges in California are an expansion of criminal charges filed there last month that accused Avenatti of misappropriating $1.6 million from a client and submitting fake tax returns to a MS bank to obtain $4.1 million in loans.

In all, Avenatti has been charged with 10 counts of wire fraud, 19 tax-related offenses, two counts of bank fraud, and four counts of bankruptcy fraud, while he remains free on the $300,000 bond he posted last month.

The county paid $4 million to resolve the case in January 2015, the USA said, but Avenatti hid the money and, over a period of several months, drained the settlement for his own benefit.

Between September 2015 and January 2018, Global Baristas US, the company that operated Tully's, failed to pay the IRS $3.2 million in payroll taxes, including almost $2.4 million withheld from employees, the indictment said. He is accused of obstructing IRS efforts to collect the taxes and of lying to an IRS revenue officer.

The attorney best known for representing adult film star Stormy Daniels in her legal battle with U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that he will plead not guilty.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Avenatti faces as many as 47 years in prison if he is convicted on charges of attempting to extort millions of dollars from Nike.

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Avenatti is also facing charges in a separate federal case in NY, which alleges he tried to extort more than $20 million from Nike.

The maximum possible punishment for these alleged offenses upon conviction, the report said, is 335 years in prison.

Daniels, who replaced Avenatti as her lawyer last month, has said she was "saddened but not shocked" by his arrest.

36-count indictment accuses lawyer Avenatti...

Attorney Michael Avenatti has refused to testify in a court case involving money he owes a former legal partner. Avenatti sued the County of Los Angeles on behalf of a client who suffered "severe emotional distress and several physical injuries, including paraplegia" from an unspecified incident, according to the indictment. Avenatti is accused of having the money wired to him and hiding it from the victim for years. Avenatti has said he expects to be cleared in that case.

Avenatti became a prominent critic of Trump and a frequent cable TV guest while representing Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

"Knowing full well that the requested information could lead to inquiries that could reveal" the embezzlement, Avenatti ignored Johnson's request, causing the government to cut off his disability payments two months ago, according to prosecutors.

Listen to the Guys Who Law talk about Avenatti's troubles below!

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