In the court papers, prosecutors described elaborate steps taken by Avenatti to hide the $1 million by shifting it through multiple bank accounts and using cashiers checks to spend it.

Avenatti, who is scheduled to go on trial next week in New York federal court for allegedly trying to extort sport giant Nike out of more than $20 million, used the money to cover rent on his luxury apartment in Century City, pay his legal bills and buy a $50,000 Mercedes, according to the court documents.

Avenatti initially tried to buy the car in his own name, but then worked with his first ex-wife, Christine Avenatti Carlin, to put it in her name instead, prosecutors allege. He drew from the $1 million to pay his personal driver, they said.