A federal grand jury has indicted Los Angeles attorney Michael Avenatti, on 36 counts which include fraud, failure to pay taxes, embezzlement, perjury and other financial crimes.
If convicted on all counts, as a maximum sentence, Avenatti could face 335 years in prison.
Michael Avenatti Faces 47 Years in Separate Case
Avenatti also faces 47 years in a separate federal case in New York, where an indictment is expected soon, in which he is alleged to have attempted to extort over $20 million from Nike.
The indictment in California alleges that Avenatti stole millions of dollars from five of his clients while using a complicated system of shell companies to conceal the theft.
According to the indictment by the Santa Anna, California grand jury, one client was a mentally ill paraplegic on disability that was awarded a $4-million settlement in a suit against Los Angeles County, and the money had been wired to Avenatti in 2015, but he hid it from the client for years, prosecutors allege.
Similarly, Michael Avenatti received $2.57 million from another client’s settlement, and the next day, purchased a $2.5 million private jet for an LLC he effectively owned, prosecutors allege.