The attorney is accused of stealing "millions of dollars from five clients and used a tangled web of shell companies and bank accounts to cover up the theft". He allegedly sent the client occasional payments of no more than $1,900 and paid the rent for his assisted-living facility, while falsely telling the man that the money was an advance on the settlement, the US said.
Those clients include "Client 1", a man who is paraplegic and who won a $4 million settlement from Los Angeles County. But Avenatti denied to the client that the total settlement had already been paid, the indictment reads.
He allegedly stole millions from one client to purchase a private jet, according to the indictment, which is included in full at the bottom of this article.
That same day in Los Angeles, prosecutors claimed that Avenatti misused a client settlements to fund his coffee business, and also used the money to pay personal expenses. He was charged in a criminal complaint in Santa Ana, California, on March 25 for stealing a different client's $1.6 million settlement to cover his own expenses, as well as cheating a MS bank.
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Avenatti responded to the filing on social media within minutes of its release, saying "For 20 years, I have represented Davids vs. Goliaths and relied on due process and our system of justice".
"Along the way, I have made many powerful enemies", he said in an emailed statement.
Listen to the Guys Who Law talk about Avenatti's troubles below!
The indictment said Avenatti made false statements in bankruptcy proceedings by submitting forms under penalty of perjury that under reported income his firm received. Avenatti used some clients' money to pay previous clients he had swindled and "pay some of his law firm's bankruptcy creditors, including the IRS", according to the USA attorney's office. In fact, Avenatti hadn't filed a 2011 tax return with the IRS.
The indictment is consistent with The Daily Caller News Foundation's previous reporting on Avenatti's management of Tully's coffee chain.
On Thursday, following the grand jury indictments in California, Avenatti declared that he plans "to fully fight all charges and plead NOT GUILTY". She sued the president over a nondisclosure agreement that in the weeks before the 2016 USA presidential election kept her from discussing her claims that she and Trump had an extramarital affair 10 years earlier.