Fraud Trial for Michael Avenatti, Scathing Critic of Trump, Begins

Fraud Trial for Michael Avenatti, Scathing Critic Of Trump, Begins

( – Outspoken anti-Trump lawyer Michael Avenatti was one of 2018’s liberal heroes when he represented porn star Stormy Daniels in her legal dispute with former president Donald Trump. Now he’s in the news again – but he won’t be enjoying it so much this time.

On April 10, 2019, Avenatti, who was already facing charges for trying to extort millions of dollars from sportswear company Nike, was indicted on wire fraud charges related to one of his clients, NBA player Hassan Whiteside. The next day he was indicted on similar charges; this time his alleged victim was none other than Stormy Daniels.

Now Avenatti is on trial in Manhattan’s Federal District Court, charged with impersonating Daniels in a letter to her book agent and fraudulently obtaining almost $300,000 of her money. In an opening statement on January 24, prosecutor Andrew Rohrbach said Daniels had not agreed to pay Avenatti any share of her publisher’s payments and said this was a case “about a lawyer who stole from his client… A lawyer who lied to cover up his scheme.”

Avenatti’s defense team claims their client lent Daniels money to buy a car and pay for security, and was entitled to a “reasonable percentage” of her book proceeds. They say Daniels is simply a “disgruntled former client” who’s disputing her legal fees.

Are Whiteside and Nike also just disgruntled former clients – and why do so many of Avenatti’s clients feel that way?

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