Attorney Avenatti faces new criminal charges in California

AP

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal prosecutors said Thursday that attorney Michael Avenatti has been charged in a 36-count federal indictment in Southern California.

Details of the case were scheduled to be made public at a midmorning news conference by U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna and the Internal Revenue Service, Hanna’s office said in a statement to news outlets.

The new charges follow Avenatti’s arrest in New York last month for allegedly trying to shake down Nike for up to $25 million and on two counts of wire and bank fraud from Southern California, where his firm is based. Avenatti has said he expects to be cleared.

The attorney is best known for representing porn actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Donald Trump.

The charges are the latest major blow to a career that took off last year when Avenatti represented Daniels in her lawsuit to break a confidentiality agreement with Trump to stay mum about an affair they allegedly had.

Avenatti became one of Trump’s leading adversaries, attacking him on cable news programs and Twitter. At one point, Avenatti even considered challenging Trump in 2020.

But back home in California, his business practices had come under scrutiny from the IRS and a former law partner who was owed $14 million by Avenatti and the Eagan Avenatti firm, which filed for bankruptcy.

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