Michael Avenatti Embezzlement Case Declared Mistrial By Judge
Michael Avenatti‘s embezzlement case has been declared a mistrial, a judge in California ruled on Tuesday.
Avenatti came to prominence after representing porn star Stormy Daniels in her suit against former President Donald Trump.
Avenatti was accused of embezzling funds from clients which he then used for non-work purposes. The amount stolen was purported to be in the millions, reaching close to $10 million. He allegedly stole from five clients by collecting settlement payouts in their names. One such case reportedly involved a man who had lost a limb while attempting to end his own life in prison. Avenatti was accused of gaining up to $4 million from this case, only a small portion of which he then funneled to the client.
Judge Michael V. Selna explained that federal prosecutors did not give certain financial evidence to Avenatti, leading him to grant a mistrial. The trial date, which was originally September 2, has now been moved to October 12.
Avenatti will represent himself in this case. “A lot of people said that I was crazy for representing myself,” he said. “They were right. I was just crazy enough.”
Avenatti received a sentence of 36 months in prison just one month ago in New York in $25 million extortion case against Nike.
Avenatti was struck with a 36-count indictment by California in 2019. He was accused of crimes including embezzlement, wire fraud, tax evasion and other forms of fraud. The indictment was split into two trials by the judge. Avenatti has since been barred from practicing law in the Golden State.