Avenatti faces new allegation of money laundering

16 Janvier, 2020, 19:23 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • California attorney Michael Avenatti leaves a courthouse in New York following a hearing

Disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti was reportedly arrested on Tuesday by federal authorities in Los Angeles, California, on allegations that he had breached the bond.

He was taken into custody in Los Angeles during a break in a California Bar disciplinary hearing over allegations that the high-profile lawyer scammed a client out of $840,000. "If allowed to remain on bond, defendant will nearly certainly continue to engage in further fraudulent and obstructive conduct".

Among the money-hiding crimes prosecutors allege, they said that in May 2019 Avenatti arranged for his ex-wife to use funds from a hidden chunk of his money to buy a $50,000 Mercedes Benz in her name that he and his driver used.

Avenatti pleaded not guilty in each of those federal criminal cases as well. "By doing so, defendant was clearly attempting to limit his creditors' ability to levy his accounts and recover the debts defendant owed to his creditors".

The US attorney's offices in the Southern District of NY and the Central District of California have charged Avenatti with a plethora of financial crimes that carry years of potential prison time, including charges of extorting Nike and multiple criminal counts related to alleged financial crimes.

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In a court filing Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California claimed that Avenatti engaged in mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and structuring financial transfers to evade reporting requirements.

Walking out of the courthouse, the Daily Beast reported that Avenatti simply said, "Completely innocent".

Michael Avenatti might be championed for his fight against Trump and R. Kelly but he has his own legal issues that he's dealing with. He's facing a long list of accusations in California, including stealing money from clients and not paying his taxes. "There are certainly questions in my mind about why it was necessary to raise questions about bail violations so close to trial".

The development comes as the former paragon of the Resistance was to appear in a federal court in Manhattan in a case in which he is accused of trying to extort Nike for up to 25 million dollars.

Then last spring, federal prosecutors in NY and California indicted him on charges of extortion, fraud and embezzlement, including allegations Avenatti stole millions of dollars from a paraplegic client. Prospective jurors in the first of his scheduled trials, having to do with the Nike allegations, were scheduled to show up at federal court in NY on Tuesday to begin the process of seeing who could serve on his case.

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