Michael Avenatti Arrested On Federal Charges Of Extortion—Bank Fraud And Wire Fraud Listed As Well
The former lawyer of porn star Stormy Daniels, and who briefly entertained being considered as a hopeful for president was reportedly charged on Monday. Avenatti is alleged to have tried to extort money from the Nike company to the tune of $15-$25 million, according to officials attached to the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. In another related case based out of California, Avenatti was also charged with both bank and wire fraud.
Avenatti was confirmed to have been taken into custody by Fox News on Monday and was also confirmed that the charges showed that he allegedly attempted an extortion scheme. Reports indicate that he pressured the sports apparel company "by threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met," according to prosecutors.
The multiple accounts currently against him include conspiracy to transmit interstate communications with the intent to extort, conspiracy to commit extortion, as well as others. He is scheduled to answer to the charges later on Monday. A press conference is also slated for later on Monday to present and formalize the charges brought against Avenatti.
As for the press conference that was conducted in California, authorities officially announced multiple additional criminal charges against Avenatti in a separate matter altogether. In this newest case, Avenatti is being charged with embezzlement of one of his client’s money, which he then used to pay on his own expenses and debts—including those of both his coffee business and his law firm.
Nick Hanna, a US Attorney, stated that the alleged wire and tax fraud charges were stemming from a tax investigation that the IRS conducted throughout the course of two years. The investigation was initiated due to bank loans that were allegedly obtained by Avenatti under false terms. The charges state that through the use of phony tax returns, he was able to obtain multiple bank loans totaling in the millions of dollars.
Hanna stated that “Avenatti is a corrupt lawyer who instead fights for his own selfish interest.” Hanna went on to say that the allegations that were connected with the lawyer “paint an ugly picture of lawlessness and greed.” The California case against Avenatti could carry a possible jail term of 50 years, whereas the New York case could carry a possible 47 years in prison.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
Should Avenatti go to jail if the alleged crimes are proven to be founded?