Michael Avenatti was once a man who thoroughly enjoyed having his name in the headlines, but it is suspected that this is no longer the case.
Avenatti, who once was a frequent guest on primetime cable infotainment shows, was representing adult film star Stormy Daniels as she attempted to sue President Trump over a non-disclosure agreement regarding an alleged affair between the two. Trump has described the legal battle as akin to extortion, but that hasn’t stopped Avenatti from making a name for himself in the meantime.
The “creepy porn lawyer”, as Tucker Carlson has called him, is now facing a bevy of legal battles of his own as his own extortion-esque schemes comes to light.
His latest charges stem from his time as Daniels’ attorney.
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Avenatti, 48, faces one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. He faces up to 22 years in prison if convicted of those charges. Daniels is not named in the indictment, but a federal law enforcement official confirmed to Fox News that she is the client prosecutors claimed Avenatti defrauded.
His alleged actions do little to curb the “sleazy lawyer” stereotype that he has cultivated for himself.
According to prosecutors, Avenatti stole “a significant portion” of an advance Daniels was supposed to receive from a book deal in the summer of 2018 by sending a doctored letter with Daniels’ signature to her literary agent that instructed the agent to divert the money to an account controlled by Avenatti. The lawyer then spent the money — $148,750 — “on airfare, hotels, car services, restaurants and meal delivery, online retailers, payroll for his law firm and another business he owned, and insurance.”
The indictment said that after Daniels asked Avenatti why she had not received the money, Avenatti falsely claimed he was still trying to extract the payment from the publisher. Weeks later, the lawyer allegedly “used funds recently received from another source” to pay Daniels the money she was owed.
Avenatti is also facing charges of attempted extortion of sneaker manufacturer Nike to to tune of millions of dollars.
The former attorney for the adult film star has maintained his innocence throughout the glut of allegations.
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