Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti, who has been in the news for his involvement in high profile cases against Donald Trump and R. Kelly, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in California on 36 charges, including allegations of stealing a $1.6 million settlement from a client.
According to NBC News, details of this new case are scheduled to be made public at a news conference by U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna, and the Internal Revenue Service, Hanna’s office said in a statement to news outlets.
The indictment is one more bombshell dropped on Avenatti. Just last month, he was charged in a criminal complaint in Santa Ana, California for using client’s settlement money to cover his own expenses, as well as cheating a Mississippi bank all while being charged in New York for a scheme where he was accused of trying to extort about $25 million from Nike Inc.
Avenatti gained notoriety after he represented porn actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against Trump, and he was also instrumental in the current charges that singer R. Kelly now faces. But now, Avenatti’s own creditability is falling apart.
This new indictment adds additional claims, including wire fraud and tax violations, according to Ciaran McEvoy, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Nicola Hanna in Los Angeles.
Avenatti is claiming that high powered enemies are targeting him and fully expects to be cleared. “Along the way, I have made many powerful enemies,” he said in an emailed statement. “I am entitled to a FULL presumption of innocence and am confident that justice will be done once ALL of the facts are known.”
His next court appearance is scheduled for the New York case on April 25th.