US Lawyer Michael Avenatti, who rose to prominence for representing porn star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Trump, has himself been indicted on two separate charges of extortion involving the sports clothing brand Nike and defrauding his former client — Daniels. While the first indictment was expected because it mirrors allegations in a criminal complaint executed against the lawyer earlier in March, the charges related to Daniels are brand new.
These are the latest charges filed against the lawyer, who previously faced other charges in California and New York federal courts, according to The Hill.
The lawyer himself denies all allegations saying he did not misappropriate funds from Stormy Daniels, saying in his Twitter account that he expects to be totally exonerated once all evidence is present at the court.
"No monies relating to Ms Daniels were ever misappropriated or mishandled. She received millions of dollars in legal services and we spent huge sums in expenses. She directly paid only $100.00 for all that she received," Avenatti tweeted Wednesday.
The documents say he "repeatedly lied… including by stating that he was working on getting the fees from [their] publisher, when, in truth and in fact, Avenatti had already received the fees and spent them on his own personal and professional expenses."
The expenses in question included "payments to individuals with whom Avenatti had personal relationships, a luxury car payment, hotel stays, airfare, meals, car services, and dry cleaning." He also used part of the money to make a "monthly lease payment of approximately $3,900 for a Ferrari automobile," the papers say.
In total, Avenatti allegedly stole some $300,000 of Daniels' publishing money and still hasn't paid it all back. Upon contacting her publisher, to ask about payments, Daniels discovered that the money had already been paid.
Daniels — who is not named in person in the documents — is said to have "never authorized nor signed the False Wire Instructions and, in fact, was not even aware of any False Wire Instructions."
Earlier this year, Avenatti said he might run in 2020 as a Democratic Presidential candidate. However, the end to his cooperation with Daniels and charges in multiple courts have damaged the lawyer's public image in recent months, a report by The Hill says.
Earlier last year, Stormy Daniels used Avenatti's legal services when she sued President Trump, challenging a non-disclosure agreement regarding their affair back in 2006.