Celebrity Attorney Michael Avenatti Has Been Indicted on 36 Counts of Fraud, Embezzlement, Tax Evasion, Other Financial Crimes

By A.J. Katz 

Looks like more money, more problems for celebrity attorney and outspoken critic of President Trump Michael Avenatti.

The U.S. attorney from the Central District of California Nick Hanna scheduled a press briefing today with the IRS to “announce the filing of a 36-count indictment naming Michael Avenatti.”

The indictments include tax dodging, perjury, and stealing from clients. There were allegedly five clients he stole millions from, one of whom was reportedly a mentally ill paraplegic on disability.

The LA-based attorney now finds himself in hot water on both coasts. In addition to this 36-count indictment in California, Avenatti was arrested in Manhattan at the law offices of Boies Schiller Flexner by FBI agents on March 25. According to the complaint filed in New York on the 25th by the FBI, Avenatti allegedly attempted to extort $22.5 million from Nike. Prosecutors called the move “an old-fashioned shakedown.”

Prosecutors in the Central District of California also went after Avenatti with wire- and bank-fraud charges last month.

Here’s how Avenatti has been responding to the news of the day:


He is scheduled to appear in court on April 25 in New York.

Avenatti gained national fame for representing porn star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen related to a NDA Daniels had signed on the night before the 2016 presidential election to keep her alleged affair with President Trump under wraps, in exchange for a $130,000 payment.

Daniels would go on to drop Avenatti as her lawyer just last month after recent conflicts with him.

Avenatti (and Daniels) became national figures in recent years. He loved to talk to the press, and the duo got a 60 Minutes profile in March 2018. Avenatti frequently appeared on cable news programming last year during the height of the Stormy Daniels saga, and in May, he was reportedly pitched to co-host a version of a revival of CNN’s Crossfire with Anthony Scaramucci, which he turned down.

The most recent cable news appearance we were able to track down of his was Oct. 1, 2018 on Cuomo Prime Time.

Avenatti was also seen at multiple White House Correspondents Dinner parties in April 2018, including those hosted by NBC News/MSNBC, CBS News, CNN, the 25th annual “garden party,” co-hosted by Tammy Haddad, and the United Talent Agency (UTA) party.

Avenatti also considered a run for president in late 2018 through early 2019.