Last week Michael Avenatti was arrested by IRS agents during a break in a court appearance over his California bar license. That arrest allegedly involved an effort to hide $1 million he received as part of a settlement from his various creditors including his ex-wife and an ex business partner. Avenatti’s bail was revoked and he has now been moved to New York where he faces trial in the Nike case. Today Fox News reports on another settlement which Avenatti allegedly misused to fund his own lifestyle:
“We didn’t receive any of that,” Donald Albaugh, one of Avenatti’s clients, said by phone Monday. Albaugh said he and his wife, Tracy, went to the 2011 Super Bowl in Dallas but, like hundreds of other ticket holders, had problems with their seats and sued the NFL…
In May 2017, Avenatti, representing the ticket holders, entered into an agreement with the NFL for a settlement of about $1,550,000 and a dismissal of all legal claims. But, in a request for a search warrant of Avenatti’s computers and phones seized following his March 2019 arrest, IRS Special Agent Remoun Karlous told a federal judge that Avenatti paid out only a small fraction of that settlement.
“Avenatti used the remainder of the approximately $1.31 million dollars [he] and his law firm received from the settlement of the Super Bowl Litigation for [his] own personal and business purposes,” Karlous wrote.
Avenatti has not been charged with defrauding his clients in the Super Bowl case, but Karlous wrote, “The government will be seeking to admit this evidence at trial on the basis that this criminal conduct falls squarely within and is inextricably intertwined with” an already existing 36-count federal fraud indictment in Orange County, Calif.
This seems to be the pattern with Avenatti. He wins settlements and millions come in but most of it doesn’t ever seem to leave his accounts. In several cases he has (allegedly) lied to his own clients about settlements to avoid paying them then used the money to buy private planes or whatever else he needed.
It’s perfect that this guy wound up being the great white hope of the resistance thanks to endless media appearances on MSNBC and CNN. CNN interviewed him 121 times according to this clip: