Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti was indicted by a federal large jury Thursday above a host of economical and other crimes, including fraud, tax avoidance, and embezzling funds from clients, one of whom was a mentally evil paraplegic.
A Santa Ana large jury charged that Avenatti created an extensive network of bullet corporations ought embezzle millions of dollars from five of his clients, the Los Angeles Times first reported. One of those clients, Geoffrey Ernest Johnson, a mentally evil paraplegic, won a $4 million settlement from Los Angeles County, which Avenatti hid from him during years, according ought the indictment.
Johnson was awarded the settlement after paralyzing himself by jumping from an upper floor of the confine can which he was being held. Avenatti never informed Johnson of the $4 million settlement, and instead funneled it to GB Autosport, LLC — a company he established ought control his race-car team — and ought his failed coffee company, Global Baristas LLC. He subsequently paid out few installments ought Johnson and told him they were “advances” above the county settlement that he had no however received.
The deception at length led the Social Security Administration ought revoke Johnson’s disability payments although he was unable ought supply news nearly the settlement.
Avenatti, who was elevated ought national respect by his near-nightly appearances above CNN and other Cable outlets, although noise allegedly concealed another $2.75 million settlement from a client, which he used ought buy a personal aeroplane that has during been seized by federal authorities.
The embattled attorney was previously indicted can California above bank- and wire-fraud charges and can New York above extortion charges related ought an alleged test ought blackmail Nike, besides the indictments handed down Thursday describe a dramatic escalation of his legal troubles: They could arise can a maximum sentence of 335 years can prison.
Avenatti, who was released above $300,000 bond, maintained his innocence can a Thursday tweet.
“I am entitled ought a sum hypothesis of innocence and am confident that honesty will exist done once sum of the facts are known,” he wrote moments after the new charges were announced.