Michael Avenatti Arrested By Feds While Fighting To Protect His Law License at Disbarment Proceeding
Man, when it rains it pours, just ask one time darling of the left, Michael Avenatti. He was appearing at a hearing at the State Bar of California, where he was accused of scamming a client out of $840,000 in settlement money and appropriating it to his own use. The State Bar was looking to put Avenatti on involuntary inactive status, which is the first step towards disbarment. Now, normally that would be enough to ruin any lawyer’s day, but lo and behold, during a break in testimony the feds showed up to arrest Avenatti for violating the terms of his release agreement in a totally separate matter. Double ouch. Daily Beast: Avenatti was taken into custody at around 6 p.m. PST. When the court resumed, his lead counsel in the disciplinary case, Thomas Warren, told the court that in connection with a criminal matter in Santa Ana, Avenatti was unable to return to court. Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles, confirmed to The Daily Beat that Avenatti was arrested on allegations of violating the terms of his pre-trial release. Mrozek declined to go into details, as the documents in the case are under seal. “I do expect him to appear in federal court in Santa Ana tomorrow,” he said. As Avenatti was being led out of the courthouse, the normally garrulous lawyer said simply, “Completely innocent.” Sounds just like his old nemesis Donald Trump, doesn’t he? And that’s not all. In addition to disbarment proceedings and the criminal matter on the west coast, Avenatti has another high profile, criminal matter pending on the east, the Nike extortion case. Avenatti allegedly told Nike that he would keep quiet about their purported policy of paying high school basketball players to attend Nike-sponsored college basketball programs, if they paid him millions of dollars. Avenatti flew very high in political circles for a time as the self-appointed voice of the left, on political TV shows, and even threw his hat in the ring as a presidential contender, as you recall. But he got too close to the sun, when it was found out that he lived like a James Bond villain and owed the IRS millions of dollars — plus unpaid rent money on his office. That revelation brought his populist-politician career screaming to the ground. Again, that would be enough to wake most people up to the error of their ways, but not Avenatti. He got indicted by a California grand jury last April on 36 counts of fraud, tax evasion and embezzlement. The man is larger than life. He’s cartoon-like, just as is Donald Trump. No wonder he knew how to troll Trump and push all his buttons. They’re two peas in a pod, running on hubris, ego,and greed. At least in Avenatti’s case, he had a brain and graduated valedictorian of George Washington School of Law. Too bad he didn’t have a character that matched his intellect. He could have been somebody legitimate and done a lot of good. If this was a farce, instead of reality (not that there’s much discernible difference these days) Trump and Avenatti would end up on the same cell block. Or, maybe Avenatti will end up neighbors to Michael Cohen or Paul Manafort. It’s fascinating the types of con […]
‘It’s A Fake World After All’ Heroes Of The #Resistance Banned From Twitter, Axios Reports How Bad It All Is
Journalism stands at a crossroads today. Just this week, a number of stories have broken, none of them good news, which question the very essence of journalistic responsibility, especially in the internet age. The Julian Assange story in particular, threatens to shake notions of First Amendment freedoms to the roots. But it’s not the only story worth reading and talking about. Read this excerpt from The New Yorker: But journalism—unlike, say, medicine, law, or architecture—is a profession that any person can practice. There are no licensing or education requirements, and we journalists generally think that this is a good thing: the public can decide which journalists are worth reading or watching, and the law can intervene in those rare cases when journalism causes harm. The last thing we want the U.S. government, or any government, to do is to start deciding who is and who is not a journalist. “For the most part, the charges against him broadly address the solicitation, receipt, and publication of classified information,” DeCell tweeted. “These charges could be brought against national security and investigative journalists simply for doing their jobs, and doing them well.” Two takeaways from that paragraph, which is from an article addressing the possible ramifications of the Assange case. To paint the conflict in overly simplistic terms, for the sake of expediency, if it’s decided Assange is indeed a journalist and a publisher, and he’s found guilty of espionage, the ramifications for legitimate journalists and publishers, could be staggering. Look no more for the Pentagon Papers or anything of that sort to show up on the front page, because the reporters and publishers will be in jail. Now, keep that thought in the back of your mind and then look to an article that Rolling Stone just published, “Avenatti, Wohl and the Krassensteins Prove Political Media Is A Huckster’s Paradise.” The subtitle of the piece is “In the Trump era of cartoon politics, the world’s biggest jackasses have an easy highway to fame and fortune.” Now, you already know about Michael Avenatti’s newest grief, for which he was indicted, yet again, last week, for ripping off Stormy Daniels. Already charged for attempting to extort Nike and for embezzling $12 million from a batch of clients, he’s been hit with a new indictment. He’s accused of blowing the proceeds of porn star Stormy Daniels’ book deal on things like his monthly $3,900 Ferrari payment, while stalling her with excuses that the publisher was late or “resisting… due to poor sales of [Daniels’s] book.” The man stacks up indictments like you and I do pancakes. But take a look at how the author, Matt Taibbi, links together some other internet luminaries. The fate of Avenatti-Icarus feels intertwined with Ed and Brian Krassenstein of #Resistance fame. The flying Krassensteins have just been removed from Twitter, allegedly for using fake accounts and “purchasing fake interactions.” This comes three years after their home was raided by federal agents, and nearly two after a forfeiture complaint made public the Krassensteins’ 13-year history of owning and operating sites pushing Ponzi-like “High-Yield Investment Plans” or HYIPs. Authorities said the pair “generated tens of thousands of complaints by victims of fraudulent HYIPs.” (Emphasis mine) [“mine” meaning Matt Taibbi, author of the piece quoted] After their Twitter ban this week, in one of the most perfect details you’ll ever find in a news story, the Krassensteins were […]
I presume you’ve seen the cartoon above before, which is admittedly a cynical view of the legal process, but all too true, nevertheless? I propose that we revise this cartoon to reflect the Michael Avenatti definition of “pro bono.” If there’s an artist in the house reading this, would you mind penning an image of Avenatti, social justice warrior, wearing a halo, and bragging about how Stormy Daniels has only paid him $100.00 for the “millions” in legal advice which he has purportedly given her — while a small army of farmers with shovels and plows, create piles marked “Publicity!” “Payroll!” “Ferrari Payments!” and everything else that Avenatti ripped Daniels off for, to the tune of $300,000 — so far. That’s a cartoon that will sell, I would get right on it, if I were you. Wednesday, California lawyer and once-seeker of the Democratic party’s nomination for president, Michael Avenatti, was indicted twice in New York, one separate indictment for his alleged extortion of Nike and another for allegedly defrauding his former client, Stormy Daniels. Avenatti and Daniels severed their professional relationship in February, and the court documents do not mention her by name, although the details of the case make it plain that it’s Daniels that is being spoken of. And Avenatti has admitted that one charge is related to Daniels — while of course he categorically denies all charges, and tweets that he looks forward to his day in court and full exoneration. Is there an echo in this room, or does he remind you of anybody we know? The Hill: The funds were also allegedly used “to make payments to individuals with whom Avenatti had personal relationships, to make a luxury car payment, and to pay for hotels, airfare, meals, car services, and dry cleaning.” When the then-client asked Avenatti about when her advance for the book deal was arriving, Avenatti allegedly “repeatedly lied … including by stating that he was working on getting the fees from [their] publisher, when, in truth and in fact, Avenatti had already received the fees and spent them on his own personal and professional expenses.” [..] Avenatti allegedly told the agent involved in the book deal, without his client’s knowledge, that the agent should send a payment for the book to a bank account under his control. After the agent told Avenatti that the payment couldn’t be sent to that account, Avenatti sent a letter with a forged signature stating that the payment should be sent to the lawyer’s bank account. The former client allegedly and repeatedly asked Avenatti about the payment from October 2018 through February 2019, to which the document says he “fraudulently stated … that Publisher-1 was withholding payment.” […] The client later got in touch with the publisher herself and discovered that the payment had already been sent. Now, I would have given anything to have been a fly on the wall when THAT conversation between Daniels and Avenatti took place, when she realized how she had been screwed. Avenatti’s other indictment, the one involving Nike, is also severe. Avenatti allegedly attempted to extort $1.5Mil from Nike by threatening to hold a press conference on the eve of the company’s quarterly earnings report, “to unveil allegations of misconduct by Nike staffers.” The severity I speak of, is that Nike said in a statement that Avenatti threatened […]
Unfit To Lead
It’s no secret that many movies will be made about Trumpworld and the characters therein. As of today, one of those characters, former Trump Troll in Chief, Michael Avenatti, might end up having a movie made about just him, because his saga just got even more enticing. Avenatti was arrested Monday in Manhattan, charged with attempt to extort $20Mil from Nike, and in a separate case, for bank fraud and embezzlement in California. Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos was named as co-conspirator in the Nike matter. Wall Street Journal: After the March 19 conversation with Messrs. Avenatti and Geragos, Nike and Boies Schiller [law firm] contacted the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, people familiar with the matter said. At prosecutors’ direction, Scott Wilson, a Boies Schiller partner, recorded a March 20 conversation with Mr. Geragos and Mr. Avenatti, in which Mr. Avenatti “made it clear” he expected to be paid at least $10 million in exchange for not holding a news conference, according to the complaint. During the conversation, held on the eve of Nike’s quarterly earnings call, Mr. Avenatti said that if his demands weren’t met, “I’ll go take ten billion dollars off your client’s market cap…I’m not f—ing around.” On Monday afternoon, Mr. Avenatti was scheduled for a meeting at Boies Schiller’s midtown offices—a sting operation at which Mr. Avenatti was to be arrested, two people familiar with the matter said. He never arrived at the meeting. Shortly after noon, Mr. Avenatti tweeted that he would hold a news conference Tuesday to discuss evidence he claimed to have of “a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated” by Nike. Mr. Avenatti’s tweet claimed the “criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike.” Within minutes, Mr. Avenatti was in custody. Avenatti, as you well recall, was considering a run for POTUS in 2020 on the Democratic ticket. Many Democrats soured on Avenatti’s hubris and after he presented a client of his, Julie Swetnick, to testify of allegations of sexual misconduct by then-SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh, it was deemed that this time Avenatti had gone too far. Democrats began to accuse Avenatti of carrying Kavanaugh “over the finish line.” The final nail in the coffin might be the fact that Stormy Daniels issued a statement Monday afternoon, declaring that she had severed her professional relationship with Avenatti. My statement regarding my former attorney Mr. Avenatti.. pic.twitter.com/9aKYCPNN6y — Stormy Daniels (@StormyDaniels) March 25, 2019 Sigh. I sure do miss how he used to troll Trump, that was epic. Oh, by the way, CNN announced today that Avenatti is no longer a contributor. And Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that maybe Avenatti could share a cell with Michael Cohen. Never a dull moment.
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Michael Avenatti just withdrew from the field of candidates for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. While things were warm and fuzzy for Avenatti when he was Stormy Daniels’ champion and crusader for the #MeToo movement, they have decidedly chilled in the past few months. Democratic strategist Patty Doyle was displeased with Avenatti’s handling of the Kavanaugh hearing, and displeasure with that was widespread, not just limited to Chuck Grassley and members of his committee. Beto O’Rourke said recently that “Avenatti does not speak for us,” and that seems to be consensus. Avenatti said he continues to represent Daniels. Hopefully he can continue to do some of the good legal work that he did with Daniels’ NDA, and Karen McDougals’, which brought him to national attention in the first place.
Stormy Daniels is not pleased with her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, and that makes sense since now she’s on the hook for $350,000 in legal fees, after a judge dismissed the defamation lawsuit against Trump, which Daniels claims she never wanted brought in the first place. She has other issues as well, and presented a statement Wednesday to the Daily Beast: “For months I’ve asked Michael Avenatti to give me accounting information about the fund my supporters so generously donated to for my safety and legal defense. He has repeatedly ignored those requests. Days ago I demanded again, repeatedly, that he tell me how the money was being spent and how much was left. Instead of answering me, without my permission or even my knowledge Michael launched another crowdfunding campaign to raise money on my behalf. I learned about it on Twitter. “I haven’t decided yet what to do about legal representation moving forward. Michael has been a great advocate in many ways. I’m tremendously grateful to him for aggressively representing me in my fight to regain my voice. But in other ways Michael has not treated me with the respect and deference an attorney should show to a client. He has spoken on my behalf without my approval. He filed a defamation case against Donald Trump against my wishes. He repeatedly refused to tell me how my legal defense fund was being spent. Now he has launched a new crowdfunding campaign using my face and name without my permission and attributing words to me that I never wrote or said. I’m deeply grateful to my supporters and they deserve to know their money is being spent responsibly. I don’t want to hurt Michael, but it’s time to set the record straight. The truth has always been my greatest ally. “My goal is the same as it has always been—to stand up for myself and take back my voice after being bullied and intimidated by President Trump and his minions. One way or another I’m going to continue in that fight, and I want everyone who has stood by me to know how profoundly grateful I am for their support.” Avenatti submitted a statement of his own, saying that the vast majority of money raised has gone not towards his legal fees, but towards Daniels’ security “and similar other” expenses. Meanwhile, a New York University law school professor and ethics expert says that if Avenatti filed the defamation suit against Trump without Daniels’ consent, he could be on the hook for malpractice. “If he filed the case with her name when it was clear that she told him not to, then he could be sued for that,” Gillers said. “He could be sued for malpractice. If true, she has a malpractice case against him. I emphasize if true. And if true, he would be subject to discipline but not as serious as disbarment.” Avenatti’s star rose dramatically when he became Daniels’ advocate. It’s generally agreed that Michael Cohen was induced to cooperate with the Mueller probe as a result of the work Avenatti did on Daniels’ and Karen McDougals’ non disclosure agreements, a fact which made him the darling of the Resistance. Unfortunately, in recent months, Avenatti has had a lot of bad press, first starting with a Daily Beast article […]
In the much ado about nothing column this week, 24 year old actress Mareli Miniutti got a restraining order against 47 year old Michael Avenatti, after Avenatti allegedly hit her in the face with pillows and dragged her out of the apartment they shared. The D.A. says it’s not going to do anything further and the matter has been bumped down to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office for assessment as to whether a misdemeanor charge would be warranted. NBC News: Miniutti said she’d been living with Avenatti since January and last week they got into an argument over money. That dispute led to a tussle, she said, with Avenatti allegedly calling her an “ungrateful f****** b****.” The incident left red marks on her skin, Miniutti claimed. Avenatti said he was happy with the DA’s decision. “I am grateful that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has rejected filing any charges against me after a fair, careful and thorough investigation,” he said in a statement. “I have maintained my innocence since the moment of my arrest.” Miniutti also claims that last February an intoxicated Avenatti pushed her into the hallway — where she hit her head — and threw shoes at her. Miniutti has appeared in films such as “The Go Go Girls” and “How To Be Single.” Looks like somebody was reaching for 15 minutes of fame. Maybe there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but this dust up didn’t do Avenatti any good.
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