Avenatti Indicted on 36 Counts–Including Fraud, Perjury, Stealing from Clients
Attorney Michael Avenatti has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles on 36 counts of fraud, perjury, stealing from clients, among other crimes.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Avenatti stole millions of dollars from five clients and used a tangled web of shell companies and bank accounts to cover up the theft, the Santa Ana grand jury alleged in an indictment that prosecutors will make public Thursday. One of the clients, Geoffrey Ernest Johnson, was a mentally ill paraplegic on disability who won a $4-million settlement of a suit against Los Angeles County. The money was wired to Avenatti in January 2015, but he hid it from Johnson for years, according to the indictment.
In 2017, Avenatti received $2.75 million in proceeds from another client’s legal settlement, but concealed that too, the indictment says. The next day, he put $2.5 million of that money into the purchase of a private jet for Passport 420, LLC, a company he effectively owned, according to prosecutors.