BREAKING: Avenatti Indicted For Aggravated Identity Theft and Stealing $300k From Stormy Daniels
The U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York announced a new indictment of Michael Avenatti for allegations of fraud and identity theft against his former client Stormy Daniels in the adult film star’s legal battle against President Donald Trump.
“As alleged, Avenatti used misrepresentations and a fraudulent document purporting to bear his client’s name and signature to convince his client’s literary agent to divert money owed to Avenatti’s client to an account controlled by Avenatti,” Judge Richard Berman wrote of the disgraced celebrity attorney, who was also indicted by a federal grand jury in Manhattan for the charges related to his attempt to extort Nike this week.
“[He] then spent the money principally for his own personal and business purposes,” the judge added. “The fraud and aggravated identity theft case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts of the Southern District of New York.”
Berman went on to write that Avenatti stole Daniels’ book deal advance as part of his plan to lie to and steal $300,000 “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,” Berman stated.
Avenatti has responded to claims that he took financial advantage of Daniels, he claimed, “No monies relating to Ms. Daniels were ever misappropriated or mishandled.”
“She received millions of dollars worth of legal services and we expended huge sums in expenses,” Avenatti added. “She directly paid only $100.00 (not a typo) for all that she received.”
Avenatti also tweeted that he expected the SDNY indictment but “will plead not guilty to ALL CHARGES” and looks “forward to the trial where I can begin to clear my name.”
UPDATE: CNN is now reporting that Avenatti stole $300,000 from Daniels.
[image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images]
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