Michael Avenatti is no stranger to making headlines. He was the famous lawyer who represented Stormi Daniels in her case against President Trump. He was even rumored to be considering a run at the 2020 presidency. But now the headlines tell a different story. Avenatti is now facing up to 335 years in jail after being indicted by a Southern California grand jury with 36 different charges alleging he embezzled millions of dollars from his clients, failed to pay taxes and perjured himself in bankruptcy cases, along with other charges.
This happened after he was freed on $300,000 bond from being arrested in New York for his alleged role in trying to extort Nike for $25 million. If convicted he could serve an additional 47 years.
The indictment which was over 60 pages alleges that Avenatti was embezzling from 5 clients, one of which was a paraplegic man. He would shuffle the money between the accounts and dole out small portions of what was owed to give them the false sense of security that they were being paid. Because he was illegally taking funds from his clients, the charge of not paying the correct amount in taxes has been added. According to the indictment, the IRS was never paid $3.2 million in payroll taxes from Tully’s Coffee, an independent coffee chain owned by Avenatti.
Throughout it all, Avenatti has maintained his innocence. He tweeted the following:
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. 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.