Celebrity attorney, Michael Avenatti, has been indicted on 36 counts, including embezzlement, wire fraud, tax evasion and bank fraud connected to his alleged theft of tens of millions of dollars. Avenatti became a household name when he represented adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels.

Now, according to the indictment, Avenatti, executed a scheme to defraud five clients, one of whom was a paraplegic from whom Avenatti withheld a settlement payment of $4 million.

Avenatti allegedly would negotiate settlements for clients and then lie to them about the amount they should receive in the settlement. Instead he would say the money had not come through yet, and reroute the payments to other accounts in his name.

In the case of the paraplegic client, he only received $124,000 when his settlement totaled $4 million. Avenatti made some payments to assisted living facilities to cover the client’s rent. But Avenatti denied to the client that the total settlement had already been paid.

The indictment comes after federal prosecutors in Manhattan and Los Angeles charged Avenatti, nearly simultaneously in two criminal cases, unsealing complaints that alleged he attempted to extort more than $20 million from sportswear company Nike and that he committed wire and bank fraud.

However, Avenatti maintains that he’s not guilty and will fight the charges against him he’s said in a series of tweets.


“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. I am entitled to a FULL presumption of innocence and am confident that justice will be done once ALL of the facts are known”, Avenatti said in a tweet Thursday.