Michael Avenatti is quashed in federal fraud case

A Southern California federal judge on Tuesday declared the trial overturned in a fraud case against Michael Avenatti, giving the brash ...


A Southern California federal judge on Tuesday declared the trial overturned in a fraud case against Michael Avenatti, giving the brash former lawyer Stormy Daniels a rare victory as he fights his conviction and sentence in a another criminal case and awaits trial in a third.

Judge James V. Selna of the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., Found that federal prosecutors withheld from Mr. Avenatti’s defense team the financial data they collected as part of their investigation. case accusing him of steal millions of dollars from five clients and repeatedly lie about his business and income.

Mr. Avenatti had argued that accounting and tax data from his law firm’s servers was exculpatory evidence that could exonerate him from the charges.

He asked Judge Selna in an Aug. 15 motion to dismiss the charges or grant him a new trial. The judge has set a new tentative trial date of October 12.

“I think today is, obviously, a good day for me personally, but it is also a good day for every individual in this country who is accused of a crime and faces the power and resources of the government. “Mr. Avenatti said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “Every American citizen deserves basic fundamental due process. “

A spokesperson for the US attorney’s office in Los Angeles declined to comment on Tuesday, citing the continued legal action against Mr. Avenatti.

The website Law.com earlier reported the cancellation of the trial, which came as testimony in the fraud case entered its sixth week.

“I find the bias has occurred here in a number of ways,” Judge Selna said Tuesday, according to Law.com.

Mr Avenatti, 50, has drawn attention for representing Ms Daniels, a pornographic actress, in her lawsuit against former President Donald J. Trump.

It has become ubiquitous on cable news shows and a thorn in Mr. Trump’s side. But Mr Avenatti’s rise has proven to be meteoric, with the government accusing him of a plethora of crimes in California and New York that could send him to jail for decades.

In July, a Manhattan federal judge sentenced Mr. Avenatti to two and a half years in prison and three years of probation after having been sentenced in February 2020 for attempting to extort more than $ 20 million from Nike.

Mr Avenatti spent several months last year at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan after a judge sided with prosecutors and ordered that he be held without bail. He was temporarily released from prison in April 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

During the extortion trial, prosecutors said Mr. Avenatti threatened to reveal how employees in Nike’s grassroots basketball division paid athletes to attend certain colleges unless the company hired him to conduct an internal investigation. His silence could also have been bought, prosecutors said, if Nike paid him $ 22.5 million to resolve potential claims of a youth basketball coach that Mr. Avenatti said he represented.

Mr Avenatti, who was due to report to federal prison on September 15, is appealing his conviction and conviction in the extortion case. This is one of the many criminal entanglements facing the publicity-minded lawyer.

In another criminal case in which he awaits trial, Mr. Avenatti was charged with stealing $ 300,000 in proceeds from a book written by Ms. Daniels. He maintained his innocence in this matter.

In California, federal prosecutors in the fraud case said Mr. Avenatti lied about his business earnings not only to his clients, but also to an IRS debt collector, creditors, a bankruptcy court and a bankruptcy trustee.

Mr Avenatti said on Tuesday that the government had suppressed key evidence that would prove his innocence.

“And if I can be denied this due process as a well-known white man, imagine what that looks like for disadvantaged people or black or brown,” he said.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Michael Avenatti is quashed in federal fraud case
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