|“||What you see with me is what you get. I don't have to conduct a poll to figure out what I'm going to tell somebody. I don't have to hire some consultant to come up with some cute catch phrase. I just call it like I see it.||„|
|~ Michael Avenatti|
Michael John Avenatti (born 16 February 1971) is an American lawyer, former racing driver and convicted felon, who is best known for his unsuccessful lawsuit against US president Donald Trump on behalf of pornographic actress Stormy Daniels in an attempt to have a Non Disclosure Agreement about their affair revoked. On 4 December 2018, Avenatti announced his intention to run under the Democratic ticket in the 2020 presidential election to defeat Trump, but was prevented from doing so when he was arrested in 2019.
Domestic violence allegations
In November 2018, Avenatti was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) later confirmed Avenatti was arrested for felony domestic violence and his bail was set at $50,000. An LAPD spokesperson said that the unidentified victim, later described as his girlfriend, had "visible injuries" and that the case would be referred to the Los Angeles County District Attorney for prosecution. Minutes after the reports of Avenatti's arrest, the Twitter account of Surefire Intelligence, a company created by the far-right conspiracy theorist Jacob Wohl, seemingly claimed responsibility for the arrest, tweeting a news story about it and adding "Surefire Intelligence strikes again."
Avenatti called the allegations "completely bogus" and "fabricated and meant to do harm to my reputation." Both of his ex-wives issued statements that Avenatti had never been violent toward either of them. The county district attorney declined to press charges, and referred the case to the city attorney for possible misdemeanor charges. On February 1, 2019, the city attorney's office announced that their investigation was complete, and that Avenatti would not be charged.
On 25 March 2019, Avenatti was arrested in New York on charges of extortion, amid claims that he had attempted to extort the global corporation Nike. On the same day, the California District Attorney's office filed a complaint accusing Avenatti of wire fraud, bank fraud, tax fraud and embezzlement, claiming that Avenatti had embezzled money from a client in order to buy a private jet, defrauded a Mississippi bank by submitting false tax returns to obtain more than $4 million in loans and failed to pay tax.
On 10 April, a federal grand jury in California indicted Avenatti for embezzlement, fraud, tax fraud and misuse of client funds, and is awaiting trial for these offences in California.
He was convicted of the New York embezzlement charges on 14 February 2020, and faces up to 40 years imprisonment. He is also now awaiting trial on charges of structuring, embezzlement and identity theft, the latter two relating to allegations that he embezzled $300, 000 from Stormy Daniels.