California Prosecutors: Michael Avenatti to be Indicted on 36 Counts

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: Michael Avenatti, attorney for Stephanie Clifford, also known as adult film actress Stormy Daniels, speaks to reporters as he leaves the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on September 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Avenatti claims to have information pertaining …
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JOSHUA CAPLAN

The Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service on Thursday will announce a 36-count grand jury indictment filing against disgraced television lawyer Michael Avenatti.

The agencies will discuss the indictment at a press conference at 9:00 a.m. local time, a joint statement reads.

The announcement comes after Avenatti appeared in a Santa Ana courtroom April 1 after being charged with filing false tax returns to secure $4 million in bank loans and withholding $1.6 million from a client.

After a court appearance Monday, Avenatti said he’s long represented “Davids versus Goliaths” in the same justice system in which he now faces charges.

The attorney known for representing porn actress Stormy Daniels in legal battles against President Donald Trump is accused of fraudulently obtaining bank loans and pocketing funds belonging to a client.

Avenatti waived his right to a preliminary hearing in federal court in Santa Ana. He’s scheduled to be arraigned April 29, but his lawyer says he may seek a waiver so his attorneys can appear on his behalf.

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 Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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