Michael Avenatti has been arrested on an alleged bail violation.
Avenatti, former lawyer of adult film star #StormyDaniels and other high-profile clientele, was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly violating his bail, according to a court filing by federal prosecutors. The arrest came just as Avenatti was appearing before the State Bar Court in Los Angeles, which is currently looking into disciplinary proceedings related to multiple criminal cases that were filed against him in California and New York, the Daily Beast reports.
Prosecutors have accused Avenatti of buying several cashier’s checks, a move he made in order to avoid creditors and law enforcement from fund seizure, along with transferring money into different accounts. Back in May, Avenatti’s first ex-wife allegedly purchased a 2014 Mercedes S550 for Avenatti, using a cashier’s check. However, the terms of his bail agreement bans him from spending or transferring $5,000 or more in a single transaction without notifying pretrial services. CNN reports that it is not clear whether or not he contacted pre-trial services about the transfer, according to the documents. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
A spokesperson for the Los Angeles U.S. Attorney’s office said IRS agents arrested Avenatti on the allegation of violating the terms of his pre-trial release. The lawyer was supposed to appear in court in Santa Ana on Wednesday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I understand that Mr. Avenatti has been arrested by the federal authorities for violating the terms of his release,” said attorney Steven Bledsoe, who is representing Avenatti in the State Bar case. Avenatti says that he is “completely innocent.”
In the meantime, Avenatti is also facing another trial in May on charges that he scammed clients out of millions, including Daniels, who he allegedly ripped off out the proceeds she received from a book deal. Avenatti will appear in Manhattan federal court on allegations that he extorted Nike for nearly $25 million. He has pleaded not guilty in both cases.