Federal prosecutors filed charges against high-profile lawyer Michael Avenatti on Wednesday, alleging that he stole $300,000 from his former client Stormy Daniels.
According to federal prosecutors, Avenatti used a “fraudulent document purporting to bear his client’s name and signature to convince his client’s literary agent to divert money owed to Avenatti’s client to an account controlled by Avenatti.”
Daniels was owed the money from a book deal, but Avenatti diverted the money into bank accounts that he controlled. He allegedly used the money to buy lavish gifts, including a Ferrari.
“Michael Avenatti abused and violated the core duty of an attorney — the duty to his client,” according to a statement by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman.
Avenatti tweeted his response to the allegation: “No monies relating to Ms. Daniels were ever misappropriated or mishandled. She received millions of dollars worth of legal services and we spent huge sums in expenses. She directly paid only $100.00 for all that she received. I look forward to a jury hearing the evidence.”
Avenatti was Daniel’s client when she alleged that she had an affair with President Trump back in 2006 just after his son was born.
He has always denied the allegation.
Avenatti was charged back in March for trying to extort $20 million from Nike and stealing from a client’s settlement money.