L.A lawyer and former 2020 Presidential aspirant Michael Avenatti was indicted Wednesday on charges of stealing from his former client and Donald Trump accuser Stormy Daniels by skimming money from her deal to write a memoir detailing her alleged sexual affair with Trump.
This is the third time in two months that federal prosecutors have charged the celebrity attorney with criminal wrongdoing. Daniels is the sixth client whom prosecutors say Avenatti defrauded.
A federal grand jury in New York accused Avenatti of forging her signature on a document instructing her literary agent to wire her money to him.
“Far from zealously representing his client, Avenatti, as alleged, instead engaged in outright deception and theft, victimizing rather than advocating for his client,” said Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Prosecutors confirmed that Avenatti improperly diverted nearly $300,000 to his own bank accounts and used roughly half of it for personal expenses, including the lease of a Ferrari sport car.
On Twitter, Avenatti denied the charges. “No monies relating to Ms. Daniels were ever misappropriated or mishandled,” he said.