Adult film actress Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford) and Michael Avenatti, lawyer for Stormy Daniels, speak to the media after hearing about Michael Cohen.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images
Prosecutors said Wednesday that disgraceful lawyer Michael Avenatti was arrested a day earlier for bail breaching charges for allegedly committing new financial crimes, including fraud and money laundering, against three federal pending criminal proceedings Bail had been made.
Avenatti, who is in custody, is on trial in a U.S. district court in Santa Ana, California, where the prosecutor's office tells a judge in court papers that there is reason to believe he was involved in "postal fraud," "wire fraud." and "structuring financial transactions to be avoided [currency] Reporting requirements "and" money laundering ".
Unsealed court documents on Wednesday allege that Avenatti fraudulently transferred a large part of his $ 1 million payment to his law firm in May last year to hide this payment from creditors to whom he owes more than $ 10 million, including a former legal partner, a client, his second wife and Washington State tax officer.
The prosecutor also said he had "carried out a number of other fraudulent transactions" to defraud his creditors "and to hide his assets".
This included using part of the payment to his company for his ex-wife to buy a $ 50,000 Mercedes-Benz on her behalf, which Avenatti and his personal driver used repeatedly to transport Avenatti.
And prosecutors reported that since his arrest last spring, Avenatti has repeatedly pulled thousands of dollars in cash and checks in several federal cases, but less than the $ 10,000 threshold that banks have to report financial transactions to federal regulators.
Avenatti, 49, was arrested Tuesday night in Los Angeles during a hearing by the State Bar Court for alleged breach of bail by IRS investigators, over the possible involuntary suspension of his legal license to rip off a client for more than 800,000 US dollars to discuss.
Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the US law firm in Los Angeles, told CNBC that Avenatti had been arrested after another crime. Avenatti has already been charged with this office for allegedly stealing millions of dollars from legal clients.
"The fact that [Avenatti] continue to be criminal]After he had been charged in this case and while on surety demonstrated that the accused posed a significant economic threat to the community, the prosecutor wrote in a message on Tuesday.
Also on Wednesday, Avenatti lost the offer to dismiss criminal charges in one of two federal criminal proceedings in New York City. There he is accused of trying to blackmail Nike for more than $ 20 million.
The verdict of the federal judge in Manhattan, Paul Gardephe, refusing Avenatti to throw the Nike extortion case, seemed to pave the way for the passionate enemy of President Donald Trump and former lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels, who will leave his office next Tuesday Trump's trial should begin impeachment proceedings, the Senate should begin.
Gardephe said Wednesday that the plan for the trial was "plunged into chaos" by the arrest of Avenatti.
The judge informed New York prosecutors and Avenatti lawyers that he would wait for the California trial to decide whether to delay his Nike lawsuit by a week or more.
The Nike case is just one of the three criminal cases that Avenatti is currently facing. Prior to that, however, Avenatti is due to appear before a federal court in Santa Ana, California on Wednesday for a hearing about his alleged bail violation.
The California prosecutor's office plans to "lift Mr. Avenatti's bond and have him detained," as Avenatti's lawyers filed with the judge in Manhattan on Wednesday.
Because of Avenatti's bail terms, which included a $ 300,000 personal recognition guarantee, he had to limit his process to certain parts of California, New York, and Florida unless he received permission from Pretrial Services officials. He was also prohibited from committing crimes as a condition for his release.
In the case of Nike, Avenatti is accused of attempting to shake the sporting goods giant by threatening to provide alleged evidence of bribery of amateur basketball players and their families unless the company pays. Avenatti has pleaded not guilty in this and the other cases, claiming that he is the victim of politically motivated law enforcement as a result of Trump's "animus" against him.
Gardephe stated in a judgment on Wednesday that Avenatti rejected all three points of the indictment because "he was prosecuted in this case for unconstitutional and selective reasons".
Gardephe rejected this request, saying the prosecutor had "wide discretion" in enforcing criminal law.
The judge also wrote, "Although Avenatti has provided ample evidence of the hostility President Trump has toward him, Avenatti has provided no evidence that this hostility played a role in the lawyer's decision to persecute him."
The judge added: "Avenatti is being prosecuted for activities that have nothing to do with politics."
Avenatti is charged in the same Manhattan courthouse for Daniels' fraud with a $ 300,000 proceeds from a bookstore. In this case, the process should start on April 21.
In the case in California, which is the subject of the bail violation application, Avenatti is indicted in a 36-point indictment accusing him of tax crimes, wire fraud, and perjury.
The IRS investigators said Avenatti stole money through an "intricate financial network of lies" and used it "to fund a wasteful lifestyle that knows no borders."
Prosecutors allege that Avenatti hid a $ 4 million settlement received in January 2015 in favor of a mentally ill paraplegic client, and hid a $ 2.75 million settlement for another client that Avenatti is alleged to have Covered his stake in the purchase of a private jet worth up to $ 5 million.
The lawsuit against Avenatti in California is scheduled to begin in May.
Avenatti first became known nationwide for his portrayal of Daniels in 2018.
Trump's personal lawyer and fixer at the time, Michael Cohen, paid Daniels $ 130,000 in hush money shortly before the 2016 presidential election to appease her allegations of a conflict with Trump, but details of the payment emerged a year after Trump won the White House ,
Avenatti became a leading adversary of Trump and Cohen, and before his arrest flirted with a run for the presidency in 2020.
Trump denies having sex with Daniels, but reimburses Cohen the $ 130,000 paid to the adult film actress.
Cohen later pleaded guilty to several crimes, including campaign funding violations related to the Daniels disbursement and $ 150,000 in hush money from the editor of The National Enquirer to another alleged Trump personality, playboy model Karen McDougal. Cohen is serving three years in federal prison.
Trump also denies having McDougal's allegations of an affair with him.