Posted on May 22 2019
updated 5/22/2019 at 6:55PM to include a screen shot of a message Avenatti sent me via the blog and the WSJ tweet..
Oh. Dear. God.
This. IS. BAD.
U.S. Attorney announces indictment of Michael Avenatti for aggravated identity theft, engaging in a scheme to defraud a former client https://t.co/Ygv9g8dhYp— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) May 22, 2019
As the SDNY DOJ-OPA Release states:
AVENATTI was separately indicted today on extortion charges, which were the subject of a previous Complaint and arrest of AVENATTI, relating to his alleged attempt to extract more than $20 million in payments from Nike, Inc., by threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met. That case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe of the Southern District of New York.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:
“Michael Avenatti abused and violated the core duty of an attorney – the duty to his client. As alleged, he used his position of trust to steal an advance on the client’s book deal. As alleged, he blatantly lied to and stole from his client to maintain his extravagant lifestyle, including to pay for, among other things, a monthly car payment on a Ferrari. Far from zealously representing his client, Avenatti, as alleged, instead engaged in outright deception and theft, victimizing rather than advocating for his client.” (emphasis added)
According to the allegations in the Indictment unsealed today, I can’t help but think Victim-1 is in fact Stormy Daniels? Anyone? Because I remember the rather public break up. Yet at every turn Stormy stayed classy and above the fray. However when reading the separate SDNY Indictment. That alleges Avenatti forged her signature. Who does that?
Remember that time Avenatti came for me? Circa Sept 2018 and I point blank asked him if he was the WSJ “source” for the Elliot Broidy Abortion story? Yeah those were super fun times. Or when Avenatti teamed up with the Troll Crew in February of 2019? Yupper super fun times. NYET.
BREAKING: Federal prosecutors announce indictment against Michael Avenatti for allegedly stealing money tied to a book advance; senior federal law enforcement official tells @NBCNews that the alleged victim is Stormy Daniels. pic.twitter.com/8Ogavb9912— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 22, 2019
From August 2018 through February 2019, AVENATTI defrauded a client (“Victim-1”) by diverting money owed to Victim-1 to AVENATTI’s control and use. After assisting Victim-1 in securing a book contract, AVENATTI allegedly stole a significant portion of Victim-1’s advance on that contract. He did so by, among other things, sending a fraudulent and unauthorized letter purporting to contain Victim-1’s signature to Victim-1’s literary agent, which instructed the agent to send payments not to Victim-1 but to a bank account controlled by AVENATTI. As alleged, Victim-1 had not signed or authorized the letter, and did not even know of its existence.
The literary agent then wired $148,750 to the account, which AVENATTI promptly began spending for his own purposes, including on airfare, hotels, car services, restaurants and meal delivery, online retailers, payroll for his law firm and another business he owned, and insurance. When Victim-1 began inquiring of AVENATTI as to why Victim-1 had not received the second installment, AVENATTI lied to Victim-1, telling Victim-1 that he was still attempting to obtain the payment from Victim-1’s publisher. Approximately one month after diverting the payment, AVENATTI used funds recently received from another source to pay $148,750 to Victim-1, so that Victim-1 would not realize that AVENATTI had previously taken and used Victim-1’s money.
SDNY Avenatti Indictment(s)
AVENATTI is charged in the extortion indictment with one count of conspiracy to transmit interstate communications with intent to extort, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, one count of conspiracy to commit extortion, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, one count of transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison, and one count of extortion, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
I really do not mean to sound insensitive but Avenatti has a lot of legal problems. I almost feel bad for him but then I hop on to twitter and see how Avenatti slides in to random users DMs and send totally inappropriate and abusive messages. It reminded me of the “comment” Avenatti posted on my February 2019 entry... because I sure do. Boy was he was super nasty and over the top aggressive...
As discussed in the CDCA matter which was a precursor to the February 22, 2019 IRS-CI John Fry Indictment and clearly it’s not lost on me that the same day the DOJ obtained a search warrant for seven electronic devices happened to be the same day Avenatti “came for me” and my account was suspended
Oddly I’m kind of surprised that Avenatti got a pass from the media that he “never asked for the Court” to appoint a Federal Public Defender. That’s a lie, yes he did and the Court DENIED his request Or that not much has been written about his “new” attorney of record H Dean Stewart “having a really busy schedule in Fall” therefore asked the Court to delay Avenatti’s CDCA Case for two to three months.
What I can tell you is in my line of work that’s Avenatti running down the clock. And I am certain by now you’ve read the Vanity Fair Article about Avenatti. The headline alone is...well I’ll let you make your own determination:
Stormy Daniels’s former attorney is a hyper-aggressive narcissist with shadows in his past—which made him a perfect adversary for Donald Trump. For a few months, the #Resistance hero even thought he could be president. Then the past caught up with him.
Avenatti cried on four separate occasions, including when he talked about the call he made to his mother after he was arrested. “You never want to call your mother and tell her that you’re in custody,” he said, his voice dipping into a near-whisper as it broke. “And you especially don’t want to call and tell her you’re in custody when she’s already seen it all over the news because they’ve had a fucking press conference.” He paused. “But live by the sword, die by the sword.”
I should probably say a few months ago I got a “whisper” that there’s a transcript and at one point it noted “inaudible sobbing” at the time I chalked it up to law firm water cooler gossip. So I didn’t make it public but after reading this Vanity Fair Article, I think my “whisper” might have been right on the money...
Although if I’m going to admit, I’m not really in the habit of watching or reading the Daily Mail but they also (recently) published an article of Avenatti’s former paramour. This article and video are...well I’ll let you draw your own conclusions
I busted out laughing when I saw the headline:
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Avenatti's ex-lover tells how he wouldn't let her work as a waitress because she was the future First Lady and likens their sex life to 'salted crackers', admitting 'you don't crave them but you eat when the doctor says you should'
I am still vexed why the LA County and LA City prosecutors did not charge him with Domestic Violence. But then again isn’t is weird how Avenatti sounds and acts almost like Trump?
I mean after all Trump did stop paying for HCI for his disabled infant nephew, whereas Avenatti “allegedly” stole millions from a paraplegic client. More broadly this is how Avenatti recently became verbally aggressive towards a reporter, boy he really does sound like Trump, no?
Michael Avenatti talks with the media after this morning’s court appearance, most of his remarks were spent ripping an LA Times reporter who asked why Avenatti’s original counsel is no longer repping him. He answered two questions and ignored a third (mine). @KFIAM640 pic.twitter.com/epber2AK9z— Kris Ankarlo (@KrisAnkarlo) May 15, 2019
With respect to the SDNY Indictment, it’s hard not to read it as Avenatti saw Nike as a cash cow and that if he & his co-conspirator were successful then all of Avenatti’s money troubles would be rectified by extorting a company like Nike. Frankly it’s just gross and Avenatti gives really decent lawyers a terrible name.
With respect to the second SDNY Indictment Avenatti as detailed in today’s second Indictment stole $300,000.00 for his client (Stormy Daniels) and forged her signature on documents. What kind of “man” steals from a woman? Moreover what kind of Attorney betrays their clients trust like this? Setting aside Avenatti’s personal bullshit, just from a professionalism standpoint. He’s like patient zero of why so many have a terrible opinion of attorneys. It’s not just vulgar in terms of professional ethics, it’s just a disgusting display of someone who gives the legal profession a terrible name. I can assure you for every one Avenattis there are 1,000 decent & ethical attorneys.
Hey so while I’m here I’m also going to point out in October of 2018 I created a Twitter thread with Avenatti’s PAC. As per usual that twitter thread is long gone but the data is still relevant:
THE FIGHT PAC
PAC - NONQUALIFIED - UNAUTHORIZED ID: C00685966
At the time I noted just how much money the PAC was spending rather superfluous disbursements to Avenatti. From a Money in to Money out ratio, it was highly disproportionate. As in it was/is unusually large. In the quantitative terms of money raised to money being paid to Avenatti.
I’m not telling you what to do but if you donated to Avenatti’s PAC I’d for sure demand a refund because the likelihood that your hard earned money went in to Avenatti’s pockets, well it’s probably pretty high.
In closing, none of this gives me any pleasure or satisfaction. I feel bad for his clients, Avenatti’s blind ambition and greed hurt a lot of really good people. I feel the most for his ex-wives and children, this has to be extraordinarily tough on them. Because they do not deserve any social media hate, they are the ones who are probably the most betrayed. Again all Defendants should be afforded the presumption of innocence, including Avenatti.
And certainly I would think the AUSAs in CDCA and SDNY could and should petition the Court for a full gag order and a protective order governing discovery in each of Avenatti’s criminal matters. More precisely Avenatti’s prolific social media presence should preclude him from publicly Tweeting or appearing on TV about his criminal matters. Why? -cough- tainting Jury pool(s), that’s why.
Lastly if you are/we’re a reporter and you based any article on materials Avenatti (most likely unlawfully obtained) you better bet your sweet bippy that Avenatti will burn you and your news organization. Because when your facing multiple criminal indictments which have a cumulative maximum imprisonment of >400+ years Avenatti will cut a deal and leave the knife in your back. So you (said reporters should probably skip over to your editor’s office and/or your General Counsel’s office) and devise an acceptable exit strategy because Avenatti will burn you to save his own ass. -SpicyFiles “told you so” Out
ps I should be intellectually honest when Avenatti first bursted on to the National Platform yes I was intrigued and supportive of his efforts. Around May of 2018 I started doing independent research, specifically I pulled down the Tully’s Bankruptcy, his IRS Leins and the lawsuit involving his former partner Jason Franks. At that point I made the (destructive) determination that Avenatti was bad news. For the record I do not regret being vociferous in my public pronouncements of RUN. Do NOT walk, Run away from Avenatti. The reality is this isn’t about me, this is about the clients Avenatti embezzled and lied to, those are the real victims. And I hope his former client see Justice. They deserve to have their money returned to them and if a jury finds Avenatti guilty then our judicial system has done its job.
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