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The Latest: Lawyer: Avenatti victim destitute after theft

April 12, 2019
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FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2018, file photo, attorney Michael Avenatti, speaks outside court in New York.An indictment filed against Avenatti, Wednesday, April 10, alleges he stole millions of dollars from clients, didn’t pay his taxes, committed bank fraud and lied in bankruptcy proceedings. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
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FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2018, file photo, attorney Michael Avenatti, speaks outside court in New York.An indictment filed against Avenatti, Wednesday, April 10, alleges he stole millions of dollars from clients, didn’t pay his taxes, committed bank fraud and lied in bankruptcy proceedings. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on new federal charges against attorney Michael Avenatti (all times local):

4:20 p.m.

A lawyer for a paralyzed man says his client is destitute after attorney Michael Avenatti embezzled most of his $4 million court settlement.

Attorney Joshua Robbins said Thursday that Geoffrey Johnson was only paid a fraction of the money Avenatti collected in 2015 from a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County jail.

A 36-count federal indictment charging Avenatti with wire, tax and bank fraud says he stole millions of dollars from Johnson and four other clients.

Avenatti has denied stealing from clients and tweeted a statement signed by Johnson praising him as an “honest and ethical attorney.”

Prosecutors says Avenatti told Johnson to sign the statement so he could collect his settlement money.

Robbins says he’s never seen a defendant tweet incriminating evidence on the day they were indicted.

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2:50 p.m.

Attorney Michael Avenatti has refused to testify in a court case involving money he owes a former legal partner.

Avenatti appeared briefly in Los Angeles Superior Court as federal prosecutors outlined fraud and other charges against him in a 36-count indictment.

Avenatti had been scheduled to face questioning about some of nearly $15 million he owes attorney Jason Frank for legal work.

Attorney Ron Hodges says Avenatti, his client, asserted his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination and didn’t testify.

Andrew Stolper, who represents Frank, says Avenatti would have faced questions about money he’s charged with stealing from clients.

Avenatti tweeted that he will plead not guilty and fight the charges.

Stolper says Avenatti told Frank outside court that he won’t get paid now that federal authorities seized his private jet.

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10:10 a.m.

Attorney Michael Avenatti could face a sentence of 335 years in prison if convicted of charges in a 36-count federal indictment.

But even if he is convicted of all counts, it would be unlikely for Avenatti to receive such a lengthy prison term

The indictment announced Thursday in Los Angeles alleges Avenattti stole millions of dollars from clients, didn’t pay taxes, committed bank fraud and lied during bankruptcy proceedings.

U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna says the four areas of alleged criminal conduct are all linked to each other because money generated from one set of alleged crimes appears in other sets of alleged crimes.

Officials say a private jet co-owned by Avenatti was seized Wednesday as part of the ongoing investigation.

Avenatti has tweeted denials of all the allegations and says he will plead not guilty.

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7:45 a.m.

The indictment filed against attorney Michael Avenatti alleges he stole millions of dollars from clients, did not pay his taxes, committed bank fraud and lied in bankruptcy proceedings.

Avenatti was indicted late Wednesday on the charges following his arrest in New York last month for allegedly trying to shake down Nike for up to $25 million.

The attorney best known for representing porn actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Donald Trump said Thursday he will plead not guilty.

The new charges say he embezzled from a paraplegic man and four other clients and shuffled money between several accounts to deceive them.

The charges also say Avenatti pocketed payroll taxes from employees of the Tully’s coffee chain that he owned.

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7:30 a.m.

Attorney Michael Avenatti says he will plead not guilty to a 36-count federal indictment filed against him in Southern California.

Avenatti tweeted Thursday that he intends to fight all of the charges and says he looks forward to the truth being known, as opposed to what he characterizes as a “one-sided version.”

A statement from prosecutors to news outlets says details of the case will be released Thursday morning by U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna and the Internal Revenue Service in Los Angeles.

The new charges follow Avenatti’s arrest in New York last month for allegedly trying to shake down Nike for up to $25 million and on two counts of wire and bank fraud from Southern California, where his firm is based.

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7:05 a.m.

Federal prosecutors say attorney Michael Avenatti has been charged in a 36-count federal indictment in Southern California.

A statement from prosecutors to news outlets says details of the case will be released Thursday morning by U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna and the Internal Revenue Service.

The new charges follow Avenatti’s arrest in New York last month for allegedly trying to shake down Nike for up to $25 million and on two counts of wire and bank fraud from Southern California, where his firm is based.

The attorney is best known for representing porn actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Donald Trump. Avenatti has said he expects to be cleared.

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