Published: Sat, May 25, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Michael Avenatti charged with ripping off Stormy Daniels, extorting Nike

Michael Avenatti charged with ripping off Stormy Daniels, extorting Nike

In the latest episode of Michael Avenatti's criminal anthology, federal prosecutors in NY have charged America's tannest celebrity lawyer with a slew of new and exciting financial crimes, this time related to his representation of adult film actress and erstwhile Trump paramour Stormy Daniels.

"Far from zealously representing his client, Avenatti, as alleged, instead engaged in outright deception and theft, victimizing rather than advocating for his client", Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in news release.

When Daniels began asking her lawyer, as all clients are wont to do eventually, where the hell her damn money was, Avenatti assured her he was working hard on getting the deadbeat publisher to come around, and even told her he was threatening litigation to, again, secure money he already had.

He's led the charges against R. Kelly and became a celebrity in his own right after representing Stormy Daniels in her suit against Donald Trump.

Throughout the summer, fall and winter of 2018, Daniels repeatedly asked Avenatti about the book money she was owed, and the lawyer said he was pressuring the publisher for payments, according to the indictment. Trump has denied the alleged affairs.

"When is this publisher going to cough up my money", Daniels asked Avenatti on December 5, 2018.

Daniels' lawsuit was central to a separate Manhattan US attorney's office investigation into Trump's and his former lawyer Michael Cohen's business dealings before the 2016 US election.

Prosecutors said that he then used money he took from Daniels to make monthly payments on his Ferrari, as well as to cover airfare, dry cleaning, hotels and restaurant bills, as well as payroll and insurance costs for his law firm's employees.

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"No monies relating to Ms Daniels were ever misappropriated or mishandled. She received millions of dollars worth of legal services and we spent huge sums in expenses".

The FBI arrested Avenatti in NY on March 25 after secretly recording what prosecutors allege was an attempt to extort the Nike corporation in conversations with the company's lawyers.

"The fraud and aggravated identity theft case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts of the Southern District of NY". She dropped Avenatti as her lawyer earlier this year. Avenatti separately was charged with stealing about $300,000 from his former porn star client Stormy Daniels.

"I look forward to a jury hearing all of the evidence and passing judgment on my conduct", Avenatti wrote in the statement.

Avenatti has denied those charges as well. "I will be fully exonerated once the relevant emails, contracts, text messages, and documents are presented", Avenatti continued.

These are the latest charges filed against the lawyer, who previously faced other charges in California and NY federal courts, according to The Hill. Icarus attempted to escape the island he and his father were imprisoned on; Michael Avenatti, as already known from his 36-count indictment in California and criminal complaint in NY, had attempted to extort another mythology-adjacent entity, Nike, and allegedly shorted a paraplegic client of $4 million in settlement money.

Geragos, identified by prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator, was not charged with any crimes. And in Los Angeles, he's facing a multi-count federal indictment alleging that he stole millions of dollars from clients, didn't pay taxes, committed bank fraud, and lied during bankruptcy proceedings.

A federal judge dismissed both of Daniels' lawsuits against Trump.

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