Attorney Michael Avenatti faces up to 333 years in prison following a federal grand jury indictment that charged him with stealing millions of dollars both from his clients and from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), prosecutors said.
Avenatti allegedly built a “financial house of cards” using his stolen millions to fund his lavish lifestyle, U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said at a press conference Thursday.
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. Federal authorities seized Avenatti’s jet Wednesday, officials said Thursday.
Avenatti allegedly scammed another client, a paraplegic man, out of a $4 million settlement without the client’s knowledge, according to the indictment.
“The financial investigation conducted by the IRS details a man who allegedly failed to meet his obligations to the government, stole from his clients, and used his ill-gotten gains to support his racing team, the ownership of Tully’s coffee shops, and a private jet,” IRS special agent Ryan L. Korner said Thursday.
The indictment is consistent with The Daily Caller News Foundation’s previous reporting on Avenatti’s management of Tully’s coffee chain. Avenatti was accused of stiffing vendors and withholding money from the IRS, TheDCNF reported.
According to the indictment, Avenatti withheld Tully’s employment taxes from the IRS, and directed employees to deposit cash receipts into an account for Avenatti’s car racing company.
Wednesday’s indictment is separate from charges Avenatti faces in New York for allegedly trying to extort Nike out of more than $20 million.
Reached by text message, Avenatti referred TheDCNF to several tweets he posted on Thursday, denying the charges.
“I intend to fully fight all charges and plead NOT GUILTY. I look forward to the entire truth being known as opposed to a one-sided version meant to sideline me,” Avenatti wrote in one tweet.
In another tweet, he posted a document allegedly from a client “attesting to my ethics and how his case was handled.”
Read The Indictment:
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