Michael Avenatti facing slew of new charges in grand jury indictment, feds seize his $4.5m private jet

(Photo by Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

Attorney Michael Avenatti is vowing to fight all of the charges and plead not guilty to a 36-count federal indictment filed against him.

The Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service are set to detail the 36-count grand jury indictment filed against Avenatti who previously represented adult-film star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Trump, the Associated Press reported.

(File Photo: screenshot)

The new charges against the embattled lawyer follow his arrest in New York last month for allegedly attempting to extort Nike for up to $25 million.

Avenatti was also facing two counts of wire and bank fraud from Southern California, and said in a tweet that he has long represented “Davids versus Goliaths” in the justice system which he now finds himself as a defendant.

With news of the new charges against him, Avenatti, who was indicted late Wednesday by a Southern California grand jury, vowed to fight back.

Federal agents also seized Avenatti’s private jet, reportedly worth about $4.5 million, according to Fox News.

“Federal authorities have seized a jet co-owned by Mr. Avenatti pursuant to a seizure warrant issued by a federal judge. This seizure is related to the pending criminal case in Los Angeles,” a federal official told Fox News.

The celebrity lawyer told Fox News on Wednesday that “I haven’t used the plane in almost a year and I gave up my interest last year. I have no interest in the plane and could care less.”

According to the Associated Press:

Avenatti, 48, is also charged with not paying personal income taxes, not paying taxes for his various businesses, including two law firms, and pocketing payroll taxes from the Tully’s Coffee chain that he owned, the indictment said.

Between September 2015 and January 2018, Global Baristas US, the company that operated Tully’s, failed to pay the Internal Revenue Service $3.2 million in payroll taxes, including nearly $2.4 million withheld from employees, the indictment said. When the IRS put tax levies on coffee company bank accounts to collect more than $5 million, Avenatti had Tully’s employees deposit cash receipts in a little-known account, the indictment said.

Avenatti was also charged with submitting fraudulent tax returns to get more than $4 million in loans from The Peoples Bank in Biloxi, Mississippi, in 2014. The tax returns he presented to the bank were never filed to the IRS, prosecutors have said.

 

Avenatti had been reportedly raising a red flag over at the IRS with his business practices, with the indictment alleging he made false statements in bankruptcy proceedings under reporting income his firm received.

“The most glaring example of deception and fraud was described in the indictment as scheming Avenatti allegedly did to deprive clients of money they were due from legal settlements or sales of stock and the actions he took to cover his tracks,” the AP reported.

Details of the new charges in case are set to be released at a press conference Thursday by U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna and the Internal Revenue Service in Los Angeles. Avenatti is scheduled to be arraigned April 29. and DOJ

Reaction to how far Avenatti, nicknamed the “creepy porn lawyer” by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, has fallen poured in on Twitter where many blasted the mainstream media that propped him up for months as a legal expert.

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Frieda Powers

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